The National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance will launch its first ever alfalfa checkoff on January first. The initiative is called the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative, designed to help offset a shortfall in alfalfa research funding. An article on Western Farm Press Dot Com says the Alliance Board of Directors voted to start a national checkoff program to help get a farmer-funded research program off the ground and advance industry research. The initiative, which is implemented voluntarily by seed brand, will be assessed at the rate of $1 per bag of alfalfa seed. National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance President Beth Nelson says there’s a definite need for more research. “Alfalfa is the nation’s third most valuable field crop behind corn and soybeans. A lot of people don’t realize that.” She says alfalfa acres have been declining recently and they credit at least some of that to a lack of research. Nelson adds, “There isn’t the same public commitment to research that you see in corn, beans, and wheat.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.