1.  Alfagraze is a synthetic cultivar (30 parental p1ants polycrossed with seed of 19 bulked to produce the Syn generation) which originated after two cycles of phenotypic recurrent selection from two parental populations; the first population was comprised of 22 available cultivars and/or germplasms while the second was made up of equal portions of 1070 USDA plant introductions (PI). Each cycle was subjected to continuous grazing by beef cattle for approximately 120 days in each of 3 years in cycle 1 and 2 years in cycle 2. Populations were bulked (63% cultivar/germplasm based population, 33% PI population, and 3% Travios) between cycles 1 and 2. Germplasm sources are M. falcata (3%), Ladak (4%), M. varia (9%), Turkistan (5%), Flemish (4%), Chilean (8%), and Unknown (67%).

2.  Alfagraze is intended for use in the southeastern U.S. and mid-Atlantic states for grazing and hay or silage production. It possesses palatability and animal performance equal to but grazing persistence better than other cultivars tested. It has been tested in Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Florida.

3.  Fall dormancy is similar to Vernal. Flower color is 100% purple with traces of variegated and cream.

4.  Alfagraze has resistance to Fusarium wilt, moderate resistance to anthracnose (Race 1) and bacterial wilt, and low resistanc to Phytophthora root rot. It is susceptible to spotted alfalfa aphid and blue alfalfa aphid. Has not been tested for Verticillium wilt, stem nematode, and pea aphid.

5.  A breeder block of Syn 1 plants was established as clonal material. This material was replicated and transplanted to Prosser, WA to produce foundation seed (Syn 2). With permission of the breeder, Syn 3 foundation seed can be produced. A certified class (Syn 3 or Syn 4) will also be recognized. Stands of foundation and certified seed fields are limited to 3 and 6 years, respectively.

6.  Certified seed will be marketed in 1991.

7.  An application will be made for Plant Variety Protection.

8.  This information can be forwarded to the PVP office.

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