Research Programs

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The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance was instrumental in securing funding for two research programs and implementing the first ever checkoff supporting the alfalfa industry:

  • Alfalfa Pollinator Research Initiative (APRI)
  • Alfalfa Seed & Alfalfa Forage Systems Research Program (ASAFS)
  • Alfalfa Checkoff (USAFRI)

The APRI, administered through USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), is devoted to ensuring the availability of healthy non-Apis pollinator populations essential for alfalfa seed production. APRI research focuses on pollinator management, production, safety, epidemiology and disease management, and genetics and demographics.

The ASAFS, administered through USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), supports integrated, collaborative research and technology transfer to improve the efficiency and sustainability of conventional and organic forage production systems. The program is devoted to improving alfalfa forage and seed yield, improving persistence, improving alfalfa forage and seed harvesting and storage systems, improving estimates of alfalfa forage quality, and breeding.

The Alfalfa Checkoff, also known as the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative (USAFRI), is a farmer-funded investment in alfalfa-related research to help drive innovation and profitability in the alfalfa industry. Implemented voluntarily by seed brand, the Checkoff is assessed at the rate of $1/bag of alfalfa seed. One-hundred percent of the checkoff funds are used to support public research into alfalfa and alfalfa forage systems.

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Research Program


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