Tips for co-existence between RR and conventional alfalfa
The following are advised practices.
- Grow certified seed.
- Understand the potential for the RR trait to be transferred. Cross-pollination is required in seed production but not in forage production.
- Understand the management and biological limitations (described above) to the RR trait being transferred.
- Control nearby feral alfalfa, which is not harvested for hay, could flower, and then be receptive to RR pollen.
- Be aware of neighboring non-genetically engineered (GE) hay.
- Prevent the mixing of hay lots or carry-over bales in balers between RR and conventional fields.
- Test for GE traits.
- Understand tolerances, particularly as they relate to markets.
The majority of the alfalfa market is not sensitive to GE products; nevertheless, test kits are a tool that may be used when customers are sensitive to GE crops. The availability of these strips allows producers and sellers of hay to be product-based for niche domestic and export markets.
A couple of products currently on the market that may be used to detect the presence of RR alfalfa in hay, seed, or fresh leaf tissue are Agdia, ImmunoStrip, STX 74000, and Envirologix QuickStix Kit. Information and pricing is available from the company websites.
If you discover another manufacturer’s product, be sure to verify that the product is validated for alfalfa; some products are validated for crops like corn and soybeans but not for alfalfa.
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