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SANW introduces many new varieties of alfalfa into both the dormant and non-dormant market place

By Ian Gilson PhD, CFA


SANW introduces many new varieties of alfalfa into both the dormant and non-dormant market place.

The company has reported that it has added 45 new varieties to its alfalfa portfolio, none of which have been marketed by S&W Seed (NASDAQ:SANW).

These varieties include both dormant and non-dormant types and have been developed by S&W Seed, Pioneer and Seed Genetics.These offer pest and disease resistance as well as some varieties with the highest salt tolerance currently available.
Salt tolerance is important in many parts of the world, such as parts of the Imperial Valley in S. California, where the soil has been contaminated by many years of excessive fertilization which builds up the salt level. Other land that have naturally high levels of salt can grow certain crops but not alfalfa or other forage crops.

Pests and fungi can have a major impact of seed germination and the development of immature plants. Many of these are treated with expensive insecticides and fungicides but this carries the risk of migration into the food chain, and many are hazardous compounds that require special handling. A better solution is to develop plants that have a genetic resistance developed by selective breeding.

Another problem with long stemmed plants is that they don’t all return to an upright position during harvesting. The stems become bent or twisted (known as lodging) and the plants bend over and flatten one another. This can cause loss of cut matter. Research at the U. of Wisconsin estimated that there was a loss in forage yield of 0.17 tons of dry matter per acre for each inch of stubble that is left behind. This translates to a loss of 1,000 lbs. of milk per acre per inch to the dairy farmer.


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