sg1_alpha1_logo_350wSGI Alpha-1 Lucerne – The King of Forage.

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.

alpha1_lucerne_trial_comparison_graph-1024x618
Trial data supplied by Auswest SPS

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
Alpha-1 R HR HR MR HR R

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.

ESTABLISHMENT TIPS

  • 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