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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Research Project #441714

Research Project: Breeding Alfalfa for Intercropping with Intermediate Wheatgrass: Towards Perennial Grain-Forage Systems

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Project Number: 5090-21500-002-017-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

1. Create improved alfalfa germplasm specifically designed for intercropping in a intermediate wheat grass (IWG) grown for grain. 2. Conduct a nitrogen rate study to determine optimal fertilization levels to achieve optimal alfalfa intercropped with IWG stands for IWG grain and alfalfa-IWG forage yield and quality.

Experimental alfalfa varieties will be created from selections made out of alfalfa intercropped with intermediate wheat grass (IWG) grown for grain from three locations (Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). These experimental alfalfa varieties will be evaluated in WI, NY, KS, and MN in mixture with IWG to determine their improvement and synergistic addition to intercropped-IWG in terms of adding soil fertility benefits and improved forage yield and quality to the alfalfa-IWG intercropping system while maintaining high IWG grain production. A separate experiment will be conducted to determine optimal nitrogen fertilization levels to a alfalfa-IWG intercropping system to achieve maximum IWG grain production while gaining the benefit of improved soil fertility and forage production.