LUARS has some extremely good alfalfa varieties!
Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota CCA
I have always been looking for the best, high yielding crop varieties with some other good traits,
to try at LUARS; so that our area producers can benefit from their adoption; if they were found
good at the research station. This year I was able to get 4 new alfalfa varieties (AAC Trueman,
Elite 2020-1, Revolution MD and Response WT from Atlantic Canada and the western Canada)
that we are comparing with WL319HQ – a Roundup Ready alfalfa variety that has given
somewhat higher dry matter yield than 135, a standard check variety for Ontario alfalfa variety
trials. A brief description of these varieties is as follows:
AAC Trueman: As per Dr. Yousef Papadopoulos who bred this variety, at the Nappan Research
Station in Nova Scotia, AAC Trueman is more resilient in extreme weather and can withstand
extended periods of dryness, wetness or flooding. This cultivar is late flowering and winter
hardy, which will help farmers grow a stronger, higher quality of hay, silage and forage for
animal grazing. In addition to having deep roots that help it tolerate droughts, this new cultivar
has a unique rhizomatous growth habit; below-ground stems originating from the main crown.
This gives it the ability to develop into new plants that spread and fill in space to produce a dense
forage stand. This in turn helps the crop survive in wet conditions. The name AAC Trueman,
was chosen to pay tribute to Brian Trueman, a retired Farm Manager at Nappan Research Farm,
for his contribution of 30-plus years to conducting forage and other crop and livestock research
trials in Nova Scotia. I have been chasing Dr. Papadopoulos since last year to get seeds of AAC
Trueman and I was successful in getting its seed from him this spring. Papadopoulos also sent
me seeds of one of his other alfalfa variety in the making; Elite 2020-1, about which we don’t
have much information as yet. Read more about AAC Trueman at:
Revolution MD: As per the seed supplier, Northstar Seed Calgary AB, Revolution MD is a
revolutionary new non-GMO alfalfa bred with the goal of maximum digestibility and RFQ. It
has a tap root and exceptional forage quality, even during periods of delayed harvest. This is
Northstar Seed’s first alfalfa to carry a MD (MaxDigest) designation. The combination of
exceptional forage quality, yield, and winter hardiness makes this a revolutionary new option for
producers, especially for those requesting increased forage digestibility to increase milk and beef
yields. It comes with an outstanding disease and pest resistance package! It has high resistance to
Bacterial Wilt, Fusarium Wilt, Anthracnose and Phytophthora Root Rot, is resistant to
Verticillium Wilt and moderately resistant to stem Nematodes.
Revolution MD (sold as L-447 HD in USA) was Grand Champion in the haylage division at the
World Dairy Expo’s World Forage Analysis Superbowl in Wisconsin. It was also GRAND
Champion in the ‘Quality Counts’ Division for fastest rate of Digestibility of all Hay/Haylage
Response WT: is another alfalfa variety from the Northstar Seed Company. Response WT is
branched rooted, high forage yielding winter hardy alfalfa designed for the poorly drained soils.
Its root system has been genetically designed with a greater degree of the branched rooted trait.
This trait helps keep more of the root system above the water table and better secures the plant in
the ground when freezing and thawing occurs. The branch-rooted trait will adjust as moisture
stresses intensify. It is a very productive alfalfa with a very good regrowth! It is highly resistant
to Bacterial Wilt, Fusarium Wilt, Anthracnose (Race 1), Phytophthora Root Rot, and Pea Aphid
I would be eagerly looking forward to getting and sharing the results from this variety trial with
you next year!