Western Farm Press has launched its first online continuing education course devoted exclusively to alfalfa production in the West.

Alfalfa Pest Management/Selecting the Right Variety focuses on choosing the correct variety based on a number of factors, including pest and disease resistance.

Alfalfa is bred to naturally ward off pests and diseases, a key element in an Integrated Pest Management program. The course discusses many elements involved in selecting the right variety, as well as managing key pests and disease through IPM.

It can be accessed at http://www.pentonag.com/swalfalfa, or you can go to pentonag.com, where it is listed among the 27 other courses in the Farm Press/Penton Media online CEU course catalog. The alfalfa course is sponsored online by S&W Seed Company, Five Points, Calif. S&W has been developing alfalfa varieties for more than 30 years, focusing on development of high yield non-dormant varieties.
The online CEU is approved for one hour of continuing education credit by California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the American Society of Agronomy Certified Crop Adviser program, Arizona Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and Texas Department of Agriculture.

Mark Grewal is president of S&W and a licensed California Pest Control Adviser (PCA). “I have earned hours on Western Farm Press’ online CE portal, and find it not only very convenient, but the content of the courses is excellent as well,” he says. “That is why we contracted with Western Farm Press to sponsor this course online for two years.

“S&W recognizes how busy producers and PCAs are today. We’re pleased to help them maintain their permits and licenses by sponsoring this course.”

Since 2010, Grewal has served as president and chief executive officer of S&W Seed. Previously, Grewal served as vice president of ranching and a director for J.G. Boswell Co., one of the world’s largest farming operations. Additionally, he was the former president and chief executive officer of Triangle T Partners, LLC, a diversified Madera County, Calif., farming operation and principal of Grewal Consulting, LLC. He is currently chairman of the Plant Science Advisory Council of California State University, Fresno and a member of the Leadership Committee at CSU Fresno.

The alfalfa course is the 27th developed by Farm Press and Penton Media. More than 8,500 licensed professionals and farmers are registered at the Penton CEU online portal, and more than 50,000 courses have been completed for credit hours since the online CEU platform was developed eight years ago.

More than 20 states currently accredit Penton/Farm Press CEU courses.

As with all the courses, the new alfalfa management CEU features at least 20 comprehensive questions at the conclusion of the course. A score of 70 is required to earn credit. Western Farm Press reports completions to the appropriate accrediting agencies.

Founded in1980, S&W is a leading producer of warm climate, high yield alfalfa seed varieties, including varieties that can thrive in poor, saline soils. S&W’s seed cleaning and processing is done at it 40-acre facility in Five Points. In 2011, the company began the commercial launch of its California-based stevia business in response to the growing global demand for the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener.