SA Standard was preferred over the small amount of other available cultivars because of its high grazing tolerance, drought tolerance and high tolerance to root and crown diseases. SA Standard unfortunately has low tolerance against lucerne aphids, namely blue alfalfa aphid, pea aphid and spotted alfalfa aphid.
SA Standard has a subterranean crown, and it is formed 4 to 7 cm under ground level and side shoots form from the crown. It is the crown that gives it a higher tolerance to grazing than most other lucerne cultivars as the crown is protected against damage. SA Standard has a live expectancy of up to 10 years on dry lands and up to 12 years under irrigation.