Lahontan alfalfa was developed by the Crops Research Division, Agricultural Research Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station. It was released in 1954.
Lahontan is upright growing and recovers quickly after cutting. Yields are roughly equal to the “old” Ranger, but not as good as the new certified Ranger II. Lahontan generally produces lower yields than other varieties, but it does have traits to recommend it in certain circumstances. In Utah we have seen success in poorly drained soils, hardpan, badlands with irrigation or flooding or soils with high pH. Most requests for Lahontan come from Carbon and Emery County in eastern Utah.
Lahontan has high resistance to the spotted alfalfa aphid and is resistant to bacterial wilt. It is practically immune from the stem nematode, a parasitic eelworm that enters the young crown buds of alfalfa and causes them to distort and enlarge.
Lahontan is produced in very small quantities and it’s availability and demand decreases from year to year. Supply is available of a first-come first serve basis.