Get serious about the quality of alfalfa with Hi-Gest® Alfalfa Technology!

Why are farms are switching to Alforex Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology? Highly digestible forage, more tonnage and more milk! As a result, experienced alfalfa growers are finding they can get more from their acres when they plant Alforex™ alfalfa varieties with Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology. Check out the advantages and hear straight from farmers about their experience.

Highly digestible Hi-Gest alfalfa varieties for dairy quality forage

Hi-Gest 360 Highly Digestible Alfalfa FD 3  AFX 460 Highly Digestible Alfalfa FD 4

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Elite Genetics

Experience the power of one of the largest alfalfa germplasm pools in the world. Decades of alfalfa research in a fast-paced environment devoted exclusively to alfalfa have resulted in Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology. Through the latest breeding techniques and screening of hundreds of thousands of plants, Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology was developed to deliver high digestibility, high tonnage and excellent agronomics. Only elite genetics with high-yield potential, high levels of winter survival and stronger disease and pest resistance make the cut in Hi-Gest alfalfa. You can rely on Alforex Seeds for groundbreaking products along with steady advances in quality, yield, pest resistance, stress tolerance, and persistence.

Highly Digestible Alfalfa

Through focused breeding Hi-Gest varieties offer:

Hi-Gest alfalfa gives you 5-8% more leaves for higher crude protein

  • 5-8% more leaves for a higher yield potential
  • 5-10% increased rate of fiber digestion, improving animal intake
  • 5-10% increased extent of fiber digestion (as measured by UNDF 240)
  • 3-5% more crude protein compared to other conventional varieties*
  • Improved stem fiber digestibility from elite germ plasm


The net impact of highly digestible alfalfa can mean 2.5 or more pounds of milk per cow per day when fed versus other conventional varieties.

High Leaf-to-Stem Ratio Means Higher Yields with Hi-Gest Alfalfa

From a distance, a field of Hi-Gest alfalfa may look much like any other alfalfa field. However, a closer look at a field of Hi-Gest alfalfa will reveal a leafy, dense canopy with a higher concentration of leaves in the lower plant canopy than most conventionally bred varieties. Because of the leafiness of Hi‑Gest alfalfa technology varieties they will average 5-8% more leaves than conventional varieties.

    • 5-8% more leaves
    • 3-5% increase in crude protein
    • 60-100 lbs. more protein per ton of alfalfa


Alfalfa comparison Hi-Gest alfalfa technology variety versus competitive variety

Compare the leafiness of the Hi-Gest variety on the left to a competitor.

Alfalfa leaves from Hi-Gest alfalfa technology variety versus competitive variety

The increased leaf production of Hi-Gest is even more obvious when the leaves are removed from the stems.


Increased Rate of Fiber Digestion Improves Animal Uptake

Hi-Gest alfalfa has been shown to have a 5-10% higher rate of fiber digestion. Where as alfalfa varieties with slower rates of fiber digestion tend to limit daily feed intake since the cow’s rumen remains full for longer periods of time. With the enhanced rate of digestion of Hi-Gest alfalfa it allows the feed to pass through the rumen faster providing room for the cow to consume more forage. As a result of the higher feed intake it allows high producing cows to maximizing their daily milk output, since the additional high quality feed consumption provides more energy for milk production.

Increased Total Fiber Digestion Provides More Energy For Milk Production

When the extent of fiber digestion is measured using UNDF 240 criteria, Hi-Gest alfalfa shows a 5-10% advantage over competitive varieties. This improvement in UNDF 240 means that the fiber fraction of Hi-Gest alfalfa forage is more digestible than other lower forage quality varieties. All alfalfa feed contains a fiber fraction, and the digestibility of the forage may vary significantly depending on the variety. The advantage of Hi-Gest alfalfa is that a higher portion of its fiber content is digestible. For each pound of Hi-Gest alfalfa consumed, a higher percentage of the fiber fraction is actually digested, providing additional energy for milk production.

Higher Crude Protein Offers Flexibility in Balancing Rations

With its 5-8% increase in leaves and a corresponding increase in fiber digestibility, Hi-Gest alfalfa offers 3-5% more crude protein than competitive varieties. More crude protein in Hi-Gest varieties means growers can use less soybean meal protein in the Total Mix Ration (TMR) and, in turn, improve profitability.

Selective Use of Elite Germplasm Improves Stem Fiber Digestibility

Building on decades of selective development, Hi-Gest alfalfa varieties are created with genetics that have been chosen for improved stem fiber digestibility, meaning the animal can beneficially use more of every pound of alfalfa.

Improve Yield-Quality Balance with Highly Digestible Alfalfa

Timing the ideal harvest schedule for alfalfa is always a delicate balance between yield and quality, due to the presence of lignin. Lignin is the complex organic compound that hardens and strengthens the plant’s cell walls. In mature plants, lignin increases yield, but negatively affects forage quality and interferes with animal digestion. Today’s Hi-Gest highly digestible varieties offer faster and more complete fiber digestibility to balance the yield versus quality dilemma. In addition, growers gain superior management flexibility compared to conventional alfalfas.

Flexible Harvest Window

Alforex varieties with Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology provides farmers with the flexibility to adjust to aggressive harvest systems to maximize yield and quality.  In addition, Hi-Gest allows for a more relaxed schedule focused on tonnage as well. Either way, growers put the odds of improved returns per acre and animal performance in their favor.

Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology positively impacts the relationship between yield, quality and time.

28 day harvest schedule for Hi-Gest alfalfa technology varieties

Extended harvest schedule for Hi-Gest alfalfa technology varieties

The charts above illustrate the inverse relationship between increasing yield and decreasing forage quality from increasing lignin content in growing and maturing alfalfa. The conventional and Hi-Gest quality curves illustrate the difference in forage quality at the ~ 28 day/one-tenth bloom and ~ 35 day/full bloom stages and the advantage of having highly digestible alfalfa in the field.

* The same yield curve expected for conventional and Hi-Gest varieties. No yield lag if harvest is delayed.

Highly Digestible Non-GMO Alfalfa

Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology comes from conventional breeding methods. Most importantly, this non-transgenic technology requires no special management or stewardship practices and no technology fees.

More Milk

Management and feeding practices vary widely. Yet dairies feeding Alforex varieties with Hi‑Gest Alfalfa Technology report a positive production response from their cows when alfalfa makes up a higher percentage of the ration. Based on the increased rate of digestion, you could anticipate 2.5 lbs. more milk per cow, per day.1

Proven Results of highly digestible Hi-Gest Alfalfa

Real growers have experienced the power of Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology on their farms.

Head-to-Head Comparisons

Comparisons are available for all Hi-Gest alfalfa varieties and can be found on the individual product pages.

AFX 460 Hi-Gest Alfalfa Head-to-Head Comparison

Hi-Gest 360 Highly Digestible Alfalfa FD 3  AFX 460 Highly Digestible Alfalfa FD 4

Additional Resources

Learn more about Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology from Alforex Seeds.

Related videos:


Bring Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology with high digestibility to your farm today!

Contact Alforex Seeds

Contact your Alforex Seeds dealer for more information
about Hi-Gest Alfalfa Technology or call us at 1-800-824-8585.

*The increased rate of fiber digestion, extent of digestion, and crude protein data was developed from replicated research and on-farm testing. During the 2015 growing season at West Salem, WI and Woodland, CA, the following commercial dormant, semi-dormant and non-dormant alfalfa varieties were compared head-to-head with Hi-Gest® alfalfa for rate of digestion, extent of digestion and percent crude protein: America’s Alfalfa Brand AmeriStand 427TQ, Croplan Brands LegenDairy XHD and Artesia Sunrise, Fertizona Brand Fertilac, S&W Seed Brands SW6330, SW7410 and SW10 and W-L Brands WL 319HQ and WL 354HQ.

To demonstrate, during the 2015 growing season, 32 on-farm Hi-Gest hay and silage samples were submitted to Rock River Laboratory, Inc., for forage analysis. Subsequently the results for rate of digestion, extent of digestion and percent crude protein were averaged and compared to the 60-day and four-year running averages for alfalfa in the Rock River database which included approximately 1,700 alfalfa hay and 3,800 silage 60-day test results and 23,000 hay and 62,000 silage tests results in the four-year average.

**Crude protein=60 day running averages and uNDF240=four-year running average.
1 Combs, D. 2015. Relationship of NDF digestibility to animal performance. Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, 101-112, Retrieved from