|Alfalfa Selfing Management|
Selfing rate in alfalfa seed-production fields
Alfalfa is the most important forage crop in the US. Alfalfa is a known outcrosser although individuals and fields vary in selfing rate. Selfing can lead to severe inbreeding depression and reduced seed and hay yields. We detected significant variation in selfing rate (0- 52%) among plants in alfalfa seed-production fields pollinated by leafcutting bees (Riday et al. 2015, Crop Science). We have since estimated selfing rate in 32 alfalfa seed-production fields over the Pacific Northwest, the Central and the Imperial Valleys of California (Dieterich Mabin et al. in prep.). We will examine the impact of pollination and different management practices on selfing rate.