Evaluation and Registration of the Newly Introduced Supersonic Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Variety in Ethiopia
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important perennial forage legume recommended for livestock feed due to its better yield and nutritional quality. So the introduced supersonic alfalfa variety was evaluated with the standard check variety (alfalfa-1086) at Holetta, Debre-Zeit, Kulumsa, Wondo-Genet, Werer, and Pawe locations aimed to assess forage biomass yield, chemical composition, and tolerance to major pests and diseases during the main cropping season of 2018 under supplementary irrigation. The result indicated that the introduced supersonic alfalfa variety gave a higher (P<0.05) plant height and dry matter yield than the standard check variety at each location and combined across locations. Moreover, the plant height and dry matter yield of alfalfa varieties varied significantly (P<0.05) across locations. The introduced supersonic alfalfa variety was consistently superior in dry matter yield than the standard check variety which implied better stability under diverse environmental conditions. However, the dry matter yield varied across locations due to the differential response of the varieties for the test locations. The introduced supersonic alfalfa variety had 12.9, 11.6, and 7.7% dry matter yield, digestible yield, and crude protein yield advantages over the standard check variety, respectively. The nutritive values of supersonic alfalfa were slightly lower in ash, crude protein, digestibility and relative feed value and higher in fiber contents than the standard check variety. Based on the overall performances, the introduced variety was verified with the same standard check variety during the main cropping season of 2020 under supplementary irrigation. Due to its better yield performance, and pest and disease reaction, the National Variety Releasing Committee approved supersonic alfalfa variety in 2021 to be cultivated in low to high altitude areas ranging from 750 to 2400 meters above sea level, which have an annual rainfall ranging from 800 to 1200 mm.
Copyright (c) 2022 Ethiopian Journal of Sciences and Sustainable Development
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.