Alfalfa pre-breeding: Spotlight on Alan Humphries

You might not be familiar with alfalfa, but this member of the pea family is one of the world’s most important crops for feeding livestock. As part of our Crop Wild Relatives project, our partners have spent several years collecting wild relatives of alfalfa in Central Asia. Some of these show great potential for use in developing improved varieties that can tolerate both drought and low temperatures. Alan Humphries, a feed and forage scientist working at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) which is the research division of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), is leading this effort.

Crop Trust Communications Manager Luis Salazar met up with Alan in Kazakhstan recently, where our local CWR alfalfa pre-breeding partner, the Kazakhstan Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture and Plant Growing, gave us an impressive whirlwind tour of their trial sites. Luis sat with Alan to talk about the project, its challenges and its successes so far, as well as what we can expect in the next phase.

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