Hunterfield (Medicago sativa) was selected for Aphid resistance and was originally developed from Hunter River. It is a semi winter-active variety with a dormancy rating of 6 which will provide low to moderate levels of herbage production during the winter period. Hunterfield demonstrates varying levels of resistance to Aphids but is susceptible to major Lucerne diseases which limit its persistence in high rainfall or irrigation. Hunterfield has a low lying crown which makes it suited to grazing situations and will demonstrate good persistence in dryland environments. It has now been superseded by varieties with an improved disease profile and persistence such as Venus and Genesis. All lucerne varieties are deep-rooting and can be a useful tool in the control of rising water tables. It has an extended growing season into late spring and summer due to its ability to access sub-soil moisture. It can respond rapidly to rainfall events and provide important out of season feed during the late summer or autumn period. Lucerne can also be used as an important tool to control problem weeds, whilst fixing valuable nitrogen into the soil profile and providing an effective disease break.
- Name: Hunterfield
- Category: Lucerne/Alfalfa
- Rainfall: 325mm+
- pH: 5.5â€“8.0
- Soil Type: Light to medium, deep,well-drained soils
- Inoculant: Group AL Rhizobium Or Agristrike Coated
- Sowing Rate: 2-10 kg/ha (Pure) 1-4 kg/ha (Mixes)
- Pest Resistance: Hunterfield has been rated highly-resistant to Spotted Alfalfa Aphid (Therioaphis trifolii), moderately resistant to Pea Aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) and as having low resistance to Blue-Green Aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi). It is susceptible to Stem Nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) and Red Legged Earth Mite (Halotydens destructor). Control measures need to take place prior to seeding or soon after germination.
- Dormancy rating of 6
- A selection from Hunter River with aphid resistance
- Outclassed by Venus and Genesis
- Disease Resistance/Tolerance:
Hunterfield has been rated as susceptible to Phytophthora Root Rot (Phytophthora medicaginis), Colletotrichum Crown Rot (Colletotrichum trifolii), Bacterial Wilt (Clavibacter michiganense) and Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum).
- Variety Management/Agronomy:
During the establishment period Lucerne seedlings are very vulnerable and care must be taken not to over graze as it can cause a serve reduction in plant density. Once established, rotational grazing is very important to help improve persistence of the crop. Ideally spell before cutting or grazing until 10% of stems commence flowering, or crown shoots are 1–2cm long on 50% of plants. Avoid cutting or grazing lower than 5cm and it is important to have the crop grazed within a certain time frame (i.e. 4–6 weeks). Set stocking at moderate to high stocking rates reduces persistence.