Back-to-basics, GE coexistence themes of California Alfalfa Symposium in December

The 2007 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium will be held at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey Bay, Calif., Dec. 17 to 19, 2007. The 37th annual symposium is organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension Alfalfa & Forage Systems Workgroup, and sponsored and supported by growers and industry members.

This year's symposium theme is “Alfalfa — Back-to-Basics.” The agenda includes up-to-date information about alfalfa production and utilization. Critical issues to be addressed include current industry trends, the status of the dairy industry, applications of dairy manures to alfalfa, genetically modified organisms, and environmental issues.

A special session on “Genetically Engineered Crops and Roundup-Ready Alfalfa” will feature a panel discussion on coexistence called, “Can GE Alfalfa and Non-GE Alfalfa Coexist?” This issue is of interest to alfalfa growers since a lawsuit in early 2007 halted further plantings of Roundup Ready alfalfa nationwide.

The symposium also includes an in-depth presentation of alfalfa management — from site selection and stand establishment to feeding and economics. This special program will assist in launching a new UC publication, Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. The 25-chapter manual with contributions from 23 authors is slated for publication this winter.

All aspects of irrigated alfalfa production from stand establishment to pest management through marketing and utilization are covered in the publication. Each registered participant will receive a copy of the publication.

The California Alfalfa & Forage Association will hold its annual meeting and hay growers breakfast as well as sponsor the auction.

The two-day educational program is combined with a trade show featuring more than 50 exhibitors, a hay growers’ auction, and an agricultural tour on Dec. 17. The tour is an excursion to agricultural sites and tourist destinations.

Tentative options are a vegetable transplant operation, artichoke production facility, mushroom and cut flower facilities, a winery, and the National Steinbeck Center/Rabobank Agriculture Museum.

Attendees or exhibitors may register and make hotel reservations on the web at

For more information, contact Janice Corner at (530) 752-7091 or [email protected].

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