How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Alfalfa

Selection of Alfalfa Varieties

(Reviewed 3/17, updated 3/17)

In this Guideline:


Selection of appropriate varieties is a critical aspect of an IPM program. Of special importance is the disease, insect, and nematode resistance package of a variety, but other factors are important as well. Often, there are few other cost-effective strategies available, especially for root diseases and nematodes. Varieties should be selected for maximum yield, high level of pest resistance within the appropriate fall dormancy classification for a given area.

Table 1. Suggested fall dormancy and minimum pest resistance ratings for alfalfa pests for six California climatic zones
  Fall Dormancy Bacterial Wilt Verticilium Wilt Fusarium Wilt Anthracnose Race 1 Phytophthora Root Rot Spotted Alfalfa Aphid Pea Aphid Blue Alfalfa Aphid Stem Nematode Southern Root Knot Nematode Northern Root Knot Nematode
Zone FD BW VW FW AnTh PRR SAA PA BAA StN SRKN NRKN
Intermountain 3–5 HR HR HR HR HR R R R HR R R
Sacramento 4–8 R R HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R R
San Joaquin Valley 7–9 R R HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR
Coastal 5–7 HR HR HR HR HR MR HR HR HR HR HR
High Desert 4–8 HR HR HR HR HR R R HR HR HR HR
Low Desert 8–11 MR LR HR R HR HR HR HR R HR HR
Fall Dormancy Rating: Varieties are rated 2–11, with 2 being most dormant during fall period and 11 being least dormant or most winter active in standardized field tests.
Resistance abbreviations: Ratings are based upon the percentage plants in a cultivar population which are resistant in standardized tests: HR=Highly resistant ( >51% of population), R=Resistant (31–50% population), MR= Moderately Resistant (15–30% of population), LR= Low Resistance (6–14% of population)

Consult relevant publications for more information on alfalfa varieties:

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Alfalfa
UC ANR Publication 3430

General Information

W. M. Canevari, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
C. A. Frate, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County
P. B. Goodell, Entomology, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
D. H. Putnam, Plant Sciences, UC Davis
C. G. Summers, Entomology, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
R. N. Vargas, UC Cooperative Extension, Madera County

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