Replicated Alfalfa Field Trials Demonstrate Improved Forage Quality
Since 2010 Partners in Production, agronomy consultants with an emphasis on “seedmanship”, has worked with Wisconsin farmers and StollerUSA technology to improve Wisconsin alfalfa quality and yields.
Field trials, at multiple locations with multiple replications, provide ample and definitive data on the impact of various inputs on forage crop quality and tonnage. Independent Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. conducted the forage analysis. Bio-Forge and other Stoller plant performance products were among the crop inputs tested.
“Wisconsin is the dairy state and the economic pressures on dairy farmers is great. Enhancing the yield and quality of the alfalfa crop helps them to manage their feed expenses and directly impacts their herd health” explains Partners in Production’s Mike Haedt. “We’ve been testing Stoller products for two years over multiple crops and comparisons with replicated tests in direct comparisons to break down yield barriers through epigenetics in alfalfa, corn soybeans and wheat.”
Using protocols to maximize validity, the field trials were replicated in multiple locations on various alfalfa cuttings. When Bio-Forge was used alone or in combination with other Stoller Plant Performance Products crude protein levels increased by as much as 29%. In a clear demonstration of the overall enhanced health and productivity of the alfalfa plant, stem counts increased by 20% to 49%. In addition plants treated with Bio-Forge® had leaves the entire length of the stem—not just at the crown.
The most dramatic response was seen in several second cutting plots where the Stoller treated crop reached a wet yield of 10.52 wt/acre with a 230.63 RFG (Relative Forage Quality) and 223.05 RFV (Relative Feed Value) compared to the check crop results of 6.171 wt/acre; 165.03 RFG; 175.08 RFV. Yield data reflects wet tons. Haedt stated it was important to note that there was no measurable precipitation during the second crop making the difference between the treated and untreated alfalfa dramatic and directly attributable to the crop management program using Stoller technology.
Farmers participating in the study reported treated plants allowed for more cuttings per season and healthy and productive alfalfa stands with increased longevity. The result is savings in seed cost and planting expenses. Herdsmen’s claims that the improved digestibility of Stoller treated alfalfa crops enhance production and overall herd health are in the process of being studied.
“Stoller’s plant performance products are proven to maximize genetic expression and maintain optimal hormone balance so plants can function properly. Only Bio-Forge up-regulates key genes associated with managing plant stress,” explained StollerUSA’s crop expert Don Stork. “It’s been widely accepted as an effective yield-enhancer by fruit, vegetable and row crop farmers. Now, Dairy Farmers have a proven program to improve their forage crop.”