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1996 NORTH DAKOTA ALFALFA PERFORMANCE TESTS

D. Meyer, W. Norby, J. Berdahl, and M. Zarnstorff
NDSU Plant Sciences Department, Fargo, ND

The 1995-1996 winter was relatively cold with below-normal average temperatures from October 1995 to March 1996. November, January, and March were greater than 7.0 F below normal. Snow cover was in excess of 4 inches from December 12, to March 6. Loss of snow cover in mid March and a new snowstorm and cold temperatures in late March and early April caused some of the worst winter kill to alfalfa stands in the area in 25 years.

Forage yield data for alfalfa cultivars and experimental lines tested in North Dakota are presented in the next six tables. In sect pressure generally was not a significant yield factor; a little leafhopper damage was noted in the third harvest at Fargo, but was not considered worth treating. Anthracnose infection was not a problem in 1996 unlike the last two years. Rhizoctonia crown rot was detected in the third harvest but caused little damage.

Weed-free forage yields at Fargo were reduced by winter injury, which caused a significant increase in the coefficient of variation (CV) in these experiments. The 4-cut system in the 1993 seeding had very poor stands ranging from 22 to 58%. The

3-cut system was injured, but still had above-normal forage yields for a 3-year-old stand. The 4-cut system in the 1995 seeding was injured more than the 3-cut system, but mean forage yields were only slightly less. Stands in the 1996 seeding are excellent, but forage yields were low due to the below-normal precipitation in June and July.

Irrigated forage yields at Carrington were also reduced by winter injury/kill. One 3-cut replicate in the 1995 seeding was deleted due to spotty winter kill. Forage yields were slightly less form the 4 than 3-cut system, both were less than normal. Complete winter kill of the 1991 and 1993 seedings occurred with no differences between the 3 and 4-cut systems or cultivars in the 1993 seedings.

The 1996 North Dakota alfalfa hay crop was estimated at 2.34 million tons, 76% of 1995 production, but the North Dakota Agricultural Statistic Service. Yield per acre at 1.8 tons is equal to the previous 5-year average. Alfalfa acreage harvested was estimated at 1.3 million acres, 93% of 1995. Cultivars that yield equal or greater than Vernal are recommended for hay production in North Dakota.

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station; Fargo, ND; 1993 dryland
Entry   1996 harvest dates 1996 Total 94-96

Total

Relative yield§ Stand
11-1
---%---
  3-cut: 6-19 7-16 8-19 10-2
4-cut: 6-12 7-10 8-13 1996 93-96
  ------------------Tons dry matter/acre--------------------- --% of Vernal---

3-cut system

Clipper 2.01 1.18 1.21   4.40 14.79 90 96 62
Legen Dairy 2.10 1.20 1.29   4.59 15.12 93 98 60
MS-91 2.26 1.24 1.23   4.73 14.95 96 97 62
WL 323 1.78 1.21 1.16   4.15 14.95 85 97 58
WL 323 HQ 1.98 1.36 1.13   4.47 14.66 91 95 65
Vernal 2.30 1.34 1.26   4.90 15.30 100 99 65
Vernal 2.35 1.32 1.24   4.91 15.64 100 101 65
5246 1.80 1.07 1.10   4.06 15.02 83 97 50
5262 2.12 1.15 1.14   4.41 15.58 90 101 62
5364 1.98 1.20 1.32   4.50 15.32 92 99 62
 
Mean 2.07 1.23 1.22   4.51 15.13 92 98 61
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS   0.48   10   9
CV(%) 13.4 10.0 11.4   6.2   6.2   8.8

4-cut system

Clipper 0.89 1.11 0.95 0.79 3.74 14.78 90 97 35
Legen Dairy 1.16 0.97 0.91 0.80 3.84 14.78 92 97 40
MS-91 0.96 0.85 0.86 0.60 3.27 13.37 79 87 40
WL 323 0.94 0.85 0.77 0.56 3.12 14.20 75 93 37
WL 323 HQ 1.35 0.87 0.77 0.56 3.55 14.65 85 96 45
Vernal 1.75 1.13 1.11 0.78 4.77 16.12 115 105 58
Vernal 1.20 0.89 0.88 0.58 3.55 14.50 85 95 45
5246 0.52 0.72 0.76 0.60 2.60 14.36 63 94 22
5262 1.23 1.19 1.17 0.76 4.35 16.11 105 105 48
5364 1.42 1.02 1.02 0.74 4.20 16.01 101 105 45
 
Mean 1.13 0.94 0.90 0.67 3.63 14.89 87 97 41
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS NS NS   NS   NS
CV (%) 41.2 26.7 21.5 24.7 28.0   28.0   32.6
Design: Splitplot, cut = mainplot Plot size: 5 by 18 feet
Seeding method: Broadcast Replicates: Three
Seeding rate: 15 lb PLS/acre Harvest plot: 34 in. By 13 ft.
Seeding date: May 4, 1993 Cuttings: 1993 (0), 94-96 (3-4)
Herbicide: Pursuit @ 2 oz/acre in 1993 Soil type: Fargo clay
Fertilization: 50 lb P & 100 lb K/acre/year Insecticide: None
Seed supplied by originator except Vernal
§Vernal averaged 4.91 and 4.16 tons/acre in 1996 and 15.47 and 15.31 tons/acre in 1994-96 for the 3 and 4-cut systems, respectively.

 

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station; Fargo, ND; 1995 dryland
Entry   1996 harvest dates Total Relative yield§ Stand

11-1

---%---

3-cut: 6-13 7-12 8-15 10-21
4-cut: 6-11 7-09 8-11 1995 1996
  ---------------Tons dry matter/acre----------------- --% of Vernal---

3-cut system

3452-ML 1.64 1.09 1.12   3.85 98 90 73
5262 1.77 1.28 1.11   4.16 95 97 80
5454 1.83 1.25 1.15   4.23 96 99 80
ABT 205 1.54 1.19 1.21   3.94 99 92 70
ABT 405 1.55 1.06 1.16   3.77 101 88 72
Defiant 2.07 1.37 1.19   4.63 94 108 82
DK 127 1.78 1.30 1.31   4.39 99 103 78
Haygrazer 1.54 1.14 1.27   3.95 99 92 67
Proof 1.61 1.22 1.23   4.06 102 95 72
Rushmore 1.92 1.26 1.21   4.39 101 103 76
Sterling 1.98 1.28 1.17   4.43 92 104 82
Vernal 1.94 1.20 1.13   4.27 98 100 77
Vernal (Foun.) 1.92 1.22 1.16   4.30 101 100 77
WL 252 HQ 1.60 1.29 1.29   4.18 99 98 75
 
Mean 1.76 1.22 1.20   4.18 98 98 76
LSD (0.05) NS 0.19 0.11   NS 5.5 NS NS
CV (%) 16.0 8.3 5.3   8.3 3.3 83 10.1

4-cut system

3452-ML 1.61 0.92 1.01 0.62 4.16 99 112 75
5262 1.28 0.75 0.90 0.55 3.48 95 95 73
5454 1.42 0.84 0.93 0.59 3.78 96 102 68
ABT 205 1.65 0.81 0.88 0.53 3.87 102 104 78
ABT 405 1.28 0.78 0.91 0.55 3.52 101 95 67
Defiant 1.67 0.85 0.95 0.63 4.10 96 111 73
DK 127 1.64 0.94 0.89 0.60 4.07 103 110 75
Haygrazer 1.45 0.87 0.86 0.64 3.82 105 103 72
Proof 1.68 0.93 0.90 0.60 4.11 109 111 77
Rushmore 1.57 0.84 0.93 0.66 4.00 104 108 73
Sterling 1.45 0.84 0.89 0.61 3.79 104 102 73
Vernal 1.41 0.80 0.87 0.53 3.61 100 97 68
Vernal (Foun.) 1.57 0.80 0.87 0.56 3.80 100 102 75
WL 252 HQ 1.23 0.84 0.95 0.67 3.69 109 99 70
                 
Mean 1.49 0.84 0.91 0.59 3.84 102 104 73
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS NS NS 8.3 NS NS
CV (%) 17.1 11.9 13.2 10.3 11.4 4.9 11.4 8.1
Design: Splitplot, cust = mainplot Plot size: 5 by 18 feet Seeding method: Broadcast
Replicates: Three Seeding rate: 25 lb/acre Harvest plot: 34 in. By 13 ft.
Seeding date: May 5, 1995 Cuttings: 1995 (2/3), 1996 (3/4) Herbicides:None
Soil type: Fargo clay Fertilization: 50P & 100K lb/acre Insecticide: None
Seed obtained from Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
§Relative yield is expressed as percentage of Vernal and Vernal (Foun.) Mean, which averaged 4.28 and 3.71 tons/acre for the 3 and 4-cut systems respectively.

 

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station; Carrington, ND; 1995 irrigated.
Entry 3-cut: 1996 harvest dates Total Relative yield§ Stand

10-28

---%---

6-21 7-23 8-23 10-28
4-cut:
6-17 7-16 8-20 1995 1996
  Tons dry matter/acre --% of Vernal---

3-cut system

2555-ML 2.33 1.43 1.18   4.94 103 102 80
5262 2.34 1.25 1.18   4.77 110 99 82
5454 2.20 1.48 1.20   4.88 106 101 80
ABT 205 2.33 1.54 1.21   5.08 96 105 85
ABT 405 2.46 1.39 1.20   5.05 103 104 80
DK 127 2.47 1.29 1.30   5.06 96 105 82
Paramount 2.11 1.55 1.15   4.81 104 99 85
Proof 2.12 1.62 1.24   4.98 105 103 82
Vernal 2.08 1.34 1.19   4.61 99 95 80
Vernal (Foun.) 2.51 1.45 1.11   5.07 101 105 80
Viking I 2.42 1.43 1.32   5.17 100 107 82
WL 252 HQ 2.01 1.77 1.24   5.02 99 104 80
WL 323 2.25 1.17 1.16   4.58 100 95 82
 
Mean 2.28 1.44 1.20   4.92 102 102 82
LSD (0.05) NS 0.23 NS   NS NS NS NS
CV (%) 9.5 7.5 8.3   6.0 5.7 6.0 2.2

4-cut system

2555-ML 1.81 1.24 1.20 0.37 4.62 111 95 85
5262 1.87 1.38 1.33 0.40 4.98 107 103 87
5454 1.83 1.25 1.21 0.39 4.68 105 96 87
ABT 205 1.84 1.29 1.10 0.45 4.68 102 96 80
ABT 405 1.73 1.48 1.23 0.40 4.84 109 100 85
DK 127 1.79 1.15 1.22 0.40 4.56 103 94 85
Paramount 1.61 1.23 1.15 0.34 4.33 110 89 82
Proof 2.10 1.22 1.15 0.32 4.79 107 99 85
Vernal 1.83 1.31 1.03 0.39 4.56 97 94 85
Vernal (Foun.) 2.09 1.48 1.16 0.42 5.15 103 106 82
Viking I 1.77 1.40 1.01 0.50 4.68 105 96 80
WL 252 HQ 1.80 1.16 1.04 0.44 4.44 109 92 80
WL 323 1.76 1.23 0.94 0.44 4.37 105 90 85
 
Mean 1.83 1.29 1.14 0.41 4.67 106 96 84
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS NS NS NS NS NS
CV (%) 11.1 11.4 11.0 16.5 6.9 4.8 6.9 4.1

Design: Splitplot, cut = mainplot Plot size: 5 by 18 feet
Seeding method: Broadcast Replicates: Two, one deleted
Seeding rate: 25 lb/acre Harvest plot: 34 in. By 13 ft.
Seeding date: May 17, 1995 Cuttings: 1995 (2/3), 1996 (3/4) Herbicide: None Soil type: Kief loam
Fertilization: 50P & 100K/acre Insecticide: None
Seed obtained from Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
§Vernal and Vernal (Foun.) Averaged 2.54 and 3.18 tons/acre in 1995 and 4.84 and 4.85 tons/acre in 1996 for the 3 and 4-cut systems respectively. Replicate 1 was deleted from reported data for 3-cut system due to spot winter kill.

 

North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station; Fargo, ND; 1996 dryland
Entry 1996 Relative Yield§ Stand
11-1
---%---
7-29 10-22 Total  
Tons dry matter/acre --% of Vernal--

1-cut system

Avalanche + Z 1.17   1.17 93 89
Big Horn 1.14   1.14 90 87
Depend + EV 1.19   1.19 94 91
DK 127 1.11   1.11 88 89
Imperial 1.23   1.23 98 91
Rainier 1.14   1.14 90 91
Vernal 1.18   1.18 94 86
Vernal 1.35   1.35 107 89
WL 324 1.29   1.29 102 89
WL 325 HQ 1.18   1.18 94 91
5312 1.08   1.08 86 89
5454 1.20   1.20 95 92
 
Mean 1.19   1.19 94 89
LSD (O.05) 0.14   0.14 11 NS
CV (%) 8.4   8.4 8.4 3.6

2-cut system

Avalanche + Z 1.14 0.59 1.73 101 90
Big Horn 1.19 0.64 1.83 107 91
Depend + EV 1.19 0.65 1.84 108 92
DK 127 1.17 0.64 1.81 106 94
Imperial 1.14 0.70 1.84 108 90
Innovator + Z 1.14 0.63 1.77 104 87
Rainier 1.06 0.63 1.69 99 94
Vernal 1.13 0.55 1.68 98 89
Vernal 1.14 0.60 1.74 102 89
WL 324 1.16 0.67 1.83 107 92
WL 325 HQ 1.10 0.65 1.75 102 91
5312 1.17 0.61 1.78 104 94
5454 1.11 0.61 1.72 101 90
 
Mean 1.14 0.63 1.77 104 91
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS NS 4
CV (%) 12.1 9.4 8.6 8.6 3.1

Design: Splitplot, cust = mainplot Plot size: 3 by 18 feet Seeding method: Broadcast Replicates: Four
Seeding rate: 25 lb/acre Harvest plot: 3 by 13 ft.
Seeding date: May 13, 1996 Cuttings: 1996 (1/2)
Herbicide: Pursuit @ 3 oz/acre Soil type: Fargo clay
Fertilization: None Insecticide: None
Seed obtained from Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
§Relative yield is percent of Vernal, which averaged 1.26 and 1.71 tons/acre for the 1 and 2-cut systems, respectively.

 

Alfalfa Varietal Trial and Mandan, ND from 1994 to 1996
Entry 7-8-96 7-27-95 7-6-94 3-year Total Relative Yield
Tons Dry Matter/Acre %
Released Cultivars
Pioneer 5151 3.09 2.20 2.32 7.61 110
Roamer 3.04 1.99 2.53 7.56 109
Ladak 65 2.87 2.22 2.30 7.39 107
Drylander 2.90 1.97 2.42 7.29 105
Vernal 2.67 2.02 2.29 6.98 101
Travois 2.74 1.65 2.52 6.91 100
Rangelander 2.46 2.17 2.23 6.86 99
Heinrichs 2.44 1.86 2.32 6.62 96
Rambler 2.53 1.81 2.12 6.46 93
Spredor 3 2.37 1.79 2.14 6.30 91
Anik 2.17 1.28 2.37 5.82 84
 
Experimental Strains          
Mandan 1801 2.99 1.82 2.49 7.30 105
 
Mean 2.69 1.90 2.34 6.93 100
5% LSD 0.40 0.29 NS 0.68 ---
CV (%) 10.4 10.5 10.5 11.9 ---
MCV (%) 14.8 15.2 --- 9.8 ---

Location: Mandan, North Dakota Plot size: 9' by 20' (60 ft2 harvested)
Design: Randomized complete block Soil type: Morton sandy loam
Seeding method: Drilled in 3' rows Replicates: Four
Seeding Date: May 25, 1993 Cuttings: 1 annually
Herbicide: Pursuit (June 12, 1996) Cooperator: John Berdahl

 

North Central Research and Extension Center; Minot, ND; 1995 dryland
Entry 1996 1995 Relative Yield
6-14 7-24 Total 1996 1995
Tons Dry Matter/Acre % of Vernal
DK 127 1.25 1.22 2.46 2.04 85 117
LegenDairy 1.33 1.37 2.70 1.88 94 108
Proof 1.43 1.53 2.96 1.72 103 99
Spredor 3 1.55 1.34 2.89 1.67 100 96
Sterling 1.46 1.45 2.90 2.02 101 116
Vernal 1.51 1.37 2.88 1.74 100 100
WL 252 HQ 1.23 1.22 2.44 1.93 85 111
2555-ML 1.38 1.42 2.79 1.97 97 113
5262 1.20 1.25 2.45 2.03 85 117
5454 1.32 1.48 2.80 2.04 97 117
 
Mean 1.36 1.36 2.73 1.90 95 109
LSD (0.05) NS NS NS 0.27 NS 16
CV (%) 14.2 14.7 12.1 9.8 12.1 9.8

Design: Randomized complete block Plot size: 4' by 24'
Seeding method: Drilled in 6" rows Soil type: Williams loam
Seeding Date: May 18, 1995 Replicates: Four
Cuttings: 1 annually Herbicide: None
Fertilization: None Insecticide: None
Cooperator: Mark Zarnstorff
Seed obtained from Dr. Dan Undersander at University of Wisconsin.


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