Cutting alfalfa

2017 Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium, Nov. 28-30 at Reno

The theme of the 2017 symposium is “Producing Quality Forages in the West”

The dates are set for the 2017 Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium – Nov. 28-30 - at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev. The event theme is “Producing Quality Forages in the West.”

The symposium is open to growers, pest control advisors, crop advisors, industry members, agency representatives, the academic community, and others interested in alfalfa, grain, and forage. 

Day 1, Nov. 28 – An Alfalfa Hay Quality Workshop will explore the definition of forage quality, its impact on markets and price, and the methods necessary to produce high quality forage including crop production, harvesting, and post-harvest.

Following a general session in the morning, participants will break into smaller groups for afternoon hands-on demonstrations on measuring forage quality in the lab, variation levels, sampling, and more.

Day 2, Nov. 29 – The morning session will explore hay and forage economics and markets, including the western and U.S. dairy markets; the outlook for western beef, sheep, and horses; plus how the next farm bill could impact western dairy and forages.

The session also will include discussions on genetics and production, including the alfalfa ‘yield gap,’ variety selection, drought tolerance, and the low lignin alfalfa trait.

The afternoon session will feature discussions on alfalfa production and pest management, including alfalfa IPM, controlling pests in the field, poisonous weeds, herbicides, plus a panel discussion on solving weed problems.

Day 3, Nov. 30 – The half-day session will focus on exports, water, irrigation, and genetics, including hay export dynamics on the West Coast and in the U.S., the emergence of middle eastern demand for forage crops, partial season irrigation and its effect on production, innovations in center pivot irrigation for hay crops, drip irrigated agriculture, and the importance of reduced lignin in alfalfa varieties.

47th Event - Now in its 47th year, the 2017 symposium is organized by the Cooperative Extension Services of California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming; and grower and industry liaison members. 

The 2017 Symposium is hosted by the California Alfalfa & Forage Association. Program co-chairs include Dan Putnam of the University of California, Davis, and Mike Ottman with the University of Arizona.

Symposium information including the schedule, speakers, online registration, travel and hotel information, plus exhibit and sponsorship opportunities are available on the symposium website.

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