Alfalfa Variety Trial in Cochise County, Arizona, 1997
L.J. Clark and E.W. Carpenter
Fourteen alfalfa varieties with fall dormancy ratings from 6 to 9 were tested in replicated small plot trials on the Kibler farm in Stewart District northwest of Willcox. The leading variety after three years of testing was DeKalb 189 with a dry matter yield of 8 tons per acre. Heat units with temperature thresholds of 77° F and 40° F are given for each cutting.
This is the third year of alfalfa variety testing in the high deserts of southeastern Arizona above 4000 foot elevation. Approximately 7000 acres of alfalfa are grown in Arizona near this elevation bringing in an income over six million dollars. An increased yield of 10% over that acreage could be seen by switching to the best variety available, this would have a value of $600,000 county wide in one year. This study is maintained to help alfalfa growers select the best variety for their location.
Materials and Methods
In September of 1994 fourteen varieties of alfalfa were planted in Cochise county with
fall dormancy (FD) ratings varying from 6 to 9. It was felt that an FD rating of 8 would
be the most appropriate for the area, but two 6's, one 7 and one 9 were included in the
test to expand the diversity of the genetic material in the trial. The plots were planted
with a single row, hand planter in lines 6 inches apart. The plots were 4 rows wide and
fourteen feet long. The following crop history describes the treatment of the experiment:
Plots were cut by hand using a Jari or Troy Bilt mower, raked and weighed immediately to prevent loss of moisture. Weights were converted to 0% moisture basis for reporting
This is a part of publication
AZ1059: "1998 Forage and Grain Agriculture Report," College of Agriculture,
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 85721.