California agricultural experts will reveal their 2012 outlook for managing pest and water issues in almonds, cotton and alfalfa during a forum at the Firebaugh Community Center, 1655 13th St., Firebaugh, Calif., on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The free 9 a.m. to noon event will offer growers an opportunity to get insights and meet with leading farm advisors and scientists from the University of California and the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. In addition, growers can learn how to join an innovative program sponsored by the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project (SJSFP). The program helps participants gain valuable strategies to improve farming practices, increase crop yields and become better environmental stewards.

Speakers include: UC Cooperative Extension Merced advisor David Doll (almonds); UC IPM advisors Dr. Pete Goodell (cotton and alfalfa) and Walt Bentley (almonds), Chris Linneman, Program Manager, Westside San Joaquin River Watershed Coalition, and Louie Guerra, environmental scientist with the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Three continuing education credits have been applied for.

Enrollment is now for growers in Madera, Merced and Fresno counties to sign up for SJSFP’s year-long sustainable farming project.  For more information or to sign up, contact project SJSFP field representative Luis Gallegos at (559) 259-1981 or Project Director Marcia Gibbs at (530) 370-5325.

SJSFP is a state- and federally funded program under the direction of the Sustainable Cotton Project, a California nonprofit that has worked with Valley growers to produce environmentally friendly Cleaner Cotton for the consumer market.