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'Don', a Diploid Falcata Alfalfa for Western U.S. Rangelands

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'Don' (Reg. No. CV-205, PI 655519), a diploid falcata alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp falcata L.), was developed by the Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, UT, in cooperation with the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University. Recent interest in falcata alfalfa has been high due to its value for increasing the productivity of rangelands. Don was selected for persistence under harsh conditions, uniform yellow flower color, increased seed production, and large-stature plants. Don traces to PI20725, an original collection made by N.E. Hansen in the Don Province of Russia. Don was tested as AU021. Don is significantly more persistent than typical sativa (M. sativa Subsp sativa L.)-type alfalfas and is meant for use in mixed plantings with grasses either in range or pasture situations typical of the Intermountain region of the western United States. In comparative trials, including irrigated and nonirrigated, where 25 to 50% mortality was observed on sativa alfalfas, Don showed no mortality. When used in mixtures, the production advantage of Don with tall fescue [Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub; syn. Festuca arundinaceae Schreb.] and meadow brome (Bromus riparius Rehm.) ranged from 10 to 32% When Don is grown with crested wheatgrass on dry rangelands, similar production advantages are expected, which will make rangelands more productive. Furthermore, when grown in mixtures with grasses, Don will not dominate; rather, it has a low growth habit and stays well below the canopy of most cool-season grasses.
Peel, Michael D. , Asay, Kay H. , Waldron, Blair L. , Jensen, Kevin B. , Robins, Joseph G. , Mott, Ivan W.
Includes references
Journal of plant registrations 2009 May, v. 3, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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