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Reducing Damage from Potato Leafhoppers on Seedling Alfalfa Stands in New York through Variety Selection: A Comparison of Resistant vs. Susceptible Varieties 1997

Project Leaders:Julie Hansen, Jill Miller-Garvin, Keith Waldron, Don Viands.

Objectives:

1. Compare potato leafhopper (PLH)-resistant and PLH-susceptible alfalfa varieties for yield, PLH damage, and agronomic characteristics in the seeding year.

2. Compare PLH-resistant and PLH-susceptible alfalfa varieties for forage quality and nymphal populations at one harvest / location where PLH damage is greatest.

Results:

At the western New York location the resistant varieties had significantly lower PLH damage scores than the susceptible varieties but were not significantly different in yield. At Ithaca, New York, the resistant varieties had significantly lower PLH damage scores, fewer PLH nymphs per stem, and higher yields than the susceptible varieties. It was determined that the resistant varieties have significantly higher crude protein and fiber concentrations and higher hay value per acre than the susceptible varieties. Comparisons of yield and forage quality in established stands are needed to more fully evaluate the PLH protection potential of these varieties and their adaptability to New York conditions.