Pegasis (Medicago sativa) is a highly winter active variety with a dormancy rating of 9. It has been bred for excellent production and persistence in dryland rotations. Pegasis demonstrates a very leafy and densely branched growth habit with large spreading crowns. These features will allow Pegasis to deliver improved productivity and performance compared to many other highly winter active varieties, particularly when very productive stands need to be maintained for three to four years under dryland situations. Pegasis can be grown successfully for hay or silage and is a very productive variety under irrigation and rotational grazing management.
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 to control problem weeds, whilst fixing valuable nitrogen into the soil profile and providing an effective disease break.
Pegasis has been rated highly resistant to Spotted Alfalfa Aphid (Therioaphis trifolii); has low resistance to Blue-Green Aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi) and is resistant to Pea Aphid. As with other Lucerne varieties, Pegasis is susceptible to damage from Red Legged Earth Mite (Halotydeus destructor). Control measures need to be taken prior to seeding or soon after germination.
Pegasis has been granted protection under PBR. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994. Seedmark (Seed Technology and Marketing) has an exclusive licence for the production and marketing of Pegasis.
- The low crowns of Pegasis will allow better persistence under grazing compared to other highly winter active varieties
- Pegasis demonstrates a very leafy and densely branched growth habit with low large spreading crowns compared to other highly winter active varieties. Enabling Pegasis to provide a very productive short to medium term stand Pegasis has a very high leaf weight ratio. This in combination with the increased production of a highly winter active variety delivers more high quality hay/feed per hectare
Pegasis has been rated resistant to Phytophthora Root Rot (Phytophthora medicaginis) and moderately resistant to both Colletotrichum Crown Rot (Colletotrichum trifolii) and Verticilium Wilt.
During the establishment period Lucerne seedlings are very vulnerable and care must be taken not to overgraze as it can cause a severe 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.