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New Facility Boosts Alfalfa Breeding Efforts

A new alfalfa breeding facility and research campus is the latest evidence of Legacy Seeds ever-growing commitment to their alfalfa customers.

“We’re building the first new-from-the-ground-up alfalfa research facility constructed by a seed company in the past 30 years,” states Dave Robison, alfalfa department manager with Legacy Seeds. “With 7,200-square-feet of laboratory and office space under roof, plus additional greenhouse space to extend the breeding season, this research center is a significant investment. It represents the commitment of Legacy Seeds to continuous alfalfa improvement for the benefit of our customers.”

The new facility is located on a 25-acre campus, and will also enable Legacy Seeds to host more tours and farmer events. “Our alfalfa team hosts customers from around the world,” Robison said. “It will be wonderful to have a new facility to meet in and campus to tour, so people can better see the research our alfalfa-breeding team is working on.” He adds that the facility will also be used for training, helping Midwestern alfalfa producers manage the crop for greater profitability.

Staffed with experience

The research facility will serve as a central hub for the Legacy Seeds alfalfa breeding program—the only independent alfalfa breeding effort in the United States. “Our breeding program is exclusively non-GMO, and is focused around the characteristics our customers tell us are most important to them—yield, persistence, feed quality and disease resistance,” Robison says.

Leading that breeding effort for more than 25 years is lead alfalfa breeder Dave Huset. “Dave has been breeding alfalfa for more than 36 years,” Robison notes, “and our team has more than 70 years of alfalfa breeding experience.”

Huset has earned a reputation in the industry as the father of Highly Digestible (HD®) alfalfa. Legacy Seed is a pioneer in this area, having bred alfalfa for improved digestibility for 25 years.

“We are unique in many of our breeding techniques, consistently following a different path than our competition,” Robison states. “Consequently, our HD program has enabled producers to increase their profitability by about $300/acre/year.”

Another goal of their breeding program is exceptional stand life, and Robison notes that the persistence of Legacy Seeds alfalfa is often significantly better than that of their competition. “That is a result of our StandLife Genetics® program,” he says. “This program has given our alfalfa improved resistance to multiple strains of Aphanomyces Race 2 and, more recently, Race 3.”

Taken together, it all adds up to improved profitability for producers who plant Legacy Seeds alfalfa. “We offer industry-leading genetics that translate to choices and solutions for your operation,” Robison concludes. “And integrity is included in every bag.”

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