Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa Seed:
Improved Yield and Quality in Saline Soils

Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa

  • Reduce seedling loss during stand establishment
  • Increase total farm yield
  • Curb and remediate salinity


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Alforex’s Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa Options:

 Rugged Hi-Salt salinity tolerant alfalfa seedRugged II Hi-Salt salinity tolerant alfalfa AFX 457 Hi-Salt salinity tolerant alfalfa seedAFX 647 Hi-Salt salinity tolerant alfalfa AFX 779 Hi-Ton Performance Alfalfa

Alforex’s latest addition to the Hi-Salt alfalfa line-up is Rugged II, an FD3 variety especially well-adapted to the Northern Great Plains and higher elevations of the Intermountain West, suited to both irrigated and dryland systems for hay or grazing. Growers in the transitional zone between dormant and non-dormant alfalfas will want to check out AFX 647, a new FD6 variety that demonstrates a 4% yield advantage over its predecessor with a fast recovery after harvest and persistence for medium and longer rotations.

Why plant salt tolerant alfalfa varieties?

Salinity is a natural byproduct of irrigated and dryland agriculture in low rainfall areas. Over time, soluble salts move upward in the soil profile. When rainfall or irrigation are not sufficient to leach accumulating soluble salts from the root zone salinity rises. This rise in salinity interferes with crop growth.


The salinity of soil and irrigation water is usually measured and expressed as Electrical Conductivity (EC). Soil with an EC range of less than 1.0 will have little effect on germination or yield.  For every EC point above a variety’s salinity threshold, yield decreases by 7.5%.* In a field with EC measurements approaching EC 4.0, the expected seedling mortality is 35% and yield may be reduced by 15% in unimproved alfalfa varieties.

Hi-Salt salinity tolerant alfalfa seed, like AFX 647, AFX 457 and Rugged II, offers growers a powerful tool to improve germination and yield on dryland and irrigated alfalfa fields in the Southwest and Western United States affected by salinity. These varieties raise the salinity threshold over unimproved varieties to maximize seasonal forage yield.

Alforex® Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa reduces seedling loss.

Alforex’s salinity tolerant alfalfa varieties can reduce seedling loss in a high salinity field from an expected 35% to negligible amounts.**

Hi-Salt alfalfa varieties reduce the impact of salinity by 2.0 to 3.0 soil electrical conductivity (EC) points. In addition, in fields with even higher levels of salinity, planting varieties with the salinity tolerant trait have allowed producers to grow alfalfa in areas where it was thought to be impossible by improving germination to develop strong stands from the beginning.

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Alforex® Hi-Salt Salinity Tolerant Alfalfa increases total farm yield.

Hi-Salt alfalfa varieties’ increased salinity threshold means an increase of total farm yield by negating or reducing yield drag conventional alfalfa varieties experience on high saline fields, both irrigated and dryland.


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Earning the Hi-Salt Designation

All Alforex Seeds alfalfa seed varieties that carry the Hi-Salt designation have demonstrated germination salt tolerance under the standards established by the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference (NAAIC). Several also meet the standards for forage production under salt stress.

An alfalfa variety with both germination and forage production tolerance is recommended for soils with ECs exceeding 2.

Hi-Salt varieties are making a difference for growers with salinity issues across the Northern Plains, Arizona, Texas and the rest of the American West and Southwest. These varieties are pushing acceptable yields further into the hot spots, negating salinity’s effect on germination and yield. They enable the grower to better utilize available irrigation water and to generate revenue on fields and pastures previously thought unproductive due to saline levels in the soil.

Hi-Salt varieties were developed from top performing alfalfa varieties and perform equally well in non-saline soils where the variety is adapted, making them a versatile option for your farming operation.

download the salinity management guide


Alfalfa Management Guide for Saline Soils

Download our Management Guide for more information on growing alfalfa in saline soils.

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Additional Resources:


* Maas,E.V. 1984. Salt Tolerance of plants. In Handbook of Plant Science in Agriculture (ed). B.R. Christie CRC Press Inc.

** Benes, S., et. al., What Is The Ability Of Alfalfa To Sustain Saline Conditions? In Proceedings, 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grain Symposium,Long Beach, CA, 10-12 December, 2014. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings.)