USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists are working with a fine-stemmed, fine-leaved alfalfa species that thrives in northern climate conditions.

Originally from Siberia, Medicago satvia ssp. falcata features yellow flowers and a fibrous root system that competes well with neighboring plant species for limited moisture resources common in the Northern Plains. Falcata, as it is commonly known, still provides plenty of soil nitrogen like all other legumes, and it also does an excellent job of removing carbon dioxide from the air.

Researchers are quantifying the crop’s protein content and forage quality. For more information: Contact the USDA-ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit at (307) 722-2433 or go to the Web site at: