High Impact Genetics Improve ROI Potential

With each input decision on the farm, one of the most important parts of the equation includes calculating Return on Investment (ROI). Corn and soybeans as annual crops are calculated over one year’s return. As a perennial crop, alfalfa seed cost should be amortized over three to four years.

One other factor that often gets overlooked when calculating return on alfalfa investment is the nitrogen credit at the end of the alfalfa stand life cycle. This credit can be in excess of 100 lbs/acre for a good stand.

Our Forage Products Team has put together a rock-solid lineup of alfalfa options to address challenges across the Upper Midwest. It comes down to field-limiting factors, end use, and ROI. Last month I introduced Hi-Gest as a solution for producers looking to increase return at the feed bunk. I would be remiss if I didn’t also highlight HarvXtra, our Cadillac of high-quality alfalfas. HarvXtra has some distinct genetic advantages that have been shown to contribute favorably to return on investment. Since this is such a revolutionary new technology, we have to approach it with a new perspective.

I submit for your consideration the ROI on each unit of corn and soybean seed. This might include:

  • Ability to plant sooner (early vigor)
  • Leaves above the ear (higher tonnage)
  • Standability (ease of harvest)
  • Insect and herbicide traits that allow for less passes across the field and reduced chemicals to control pests.

All of these variables are considered per acre each year. Compare this with the potential of HarvXtra alfalfa:

1. Wider harvest window and Roundup® technology for broad weed control

Val of Delayed Harvest

2. Fewer harvests, yet maintaining top yields and forage quality

Val of Higher Quality

Note: The included charts only display the quality and delayed harvest advantage. Don’t forget the nitrogen credit!

3. Improved daily feed intake, digestion, milk and beef potential

Delayed Harvest Pic

If you feed cows or raise alfalfa commercially, HarvXtra offers the best potential for return on your seed investment than any other hybrid or variety you could buy. Here’s why:

Lignin is part of the alfalfa structure that helps keep the plant standing. As the alfalfa plant matures from vegetative to bloom stage, typically the digestibility of Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility (NDFD) decreases. Plants with the HarvXtra trait, however, demonstrated a 10 to 15% increase in NDFD and Relative Forage Quality when compared to related lines without the HarvXtra trait. Plus, this new low lignin alfalfa maintained standability similar to conventional alfalfa.

Contact your local Latham® representative or call 1-877-GO-LATHAM (1.877.465.2842) today to discuss which varieties would provide the best ROI for your operation