SGI Alpha 1 lucerne was bred from Australian, USA and Argentinian germplasm and was selected for increased winter activity, fast establishment, and finer stems with high leaf to stem ratio and improved disease and pest resistance. The increased leaf to stem ratio will also give higher protein and digestibility.
SGI Alpha 1 displays strong autumn and winter/spring growth with vigorous recovery from cutting or grazing, this is an advantage in close grazed pastures and intensive forage cutting programs.
A replicated independent dryland lucerne trial, (shown below), conducted at Ballarat in Victoria showed SGI Alpha 1 as one of the best yielding varieties during a period of extreme dry conditions.
Alpha 1 attributes
- Increased winter growth (rating 9)
- Finer stems and higher leaf to stem ratio
- Improved disease & insect resistance
- High nitrogen fixation for following crops
- Can be sown as a longer term break crop to reduce disease risk
Alpha 1 is suited to dryland or irrigated Lucerne growing areas with the following disease ratings.
|Variety||Spotted alfalfa aphid||Blue aphid||Pea aphid||Anthracnose||Fusarium||Phytophthora Root rot|
Key: HR = Highly resistant; R = Resistant; MR = Moderate resistant
Being highly winter active, Alpha 1 can be sown through the early winter to early spring period and is suitable for under sowing cereals or as a rotation crop.
- Choose a paddock 12 months prior to sowing lucerne which is free draining and complete a soil test. Apply lime if pH is below 5.5 (CaCl²)
- Plan for weed and pest control in year prior to sowing e.g. crop paddock prior to sowing lucerne.
- Area sown should be sprayed for insects e.g. bare earth like canola
- Sow at a depth of between 1 -2 cm
- Lucerne seed should be inoculated with group AL at the time of sowing
- After sowing light roll to preserve moisture
|Recommended sowing rates (kgs/ha)|
|Dryland < 400||4 -6 Kgs|
|Dryland 400 - 600mm||6 - 10 Kgs|
|Dryland > 600||12 - 15 Kgs|
|Irrigation||15 - 25 Kgs|