The Cooperative Extension services of 11 Western states will present the Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference Dec. 11-13 in Las Vegas. The annual event is a comprehensive educational meeting for farmers and affiliated industries covering research on production, insect management, irrigation and genetic engineering for alfalfa, corn silage and other forages. Sessions will also address changing economic trends in U.S. agriculture and international market opportunities.

“This is an interesting year for forages to say the least,” said Dan Putnam, University of California Cooperative Extension alfalfa specialist and conference chair. “Hay prices are at record high levels in many states, and dairies have found it difficult going as a result. Costs have gone up considerably for hay producers and dairy producers alike.”

The conference is broken into half-day sessions with presentations by a diverse array of speakers, including farmers, Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists, and representatives from commodity groups and industry.

The sessions are:

  • Hay industry trends
  • Irrigation and soils
  • Producing quality forages for different markets
  • GMOs and Roundup Ready Alfalfa
  • Biofuels in the West

“This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about forages, to meet industry members, other farmers and pest control advisers,” Putnam said.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is scheduled to present the keynote address at the Tuesday, Dec. 13, banquet.

Early registration for Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference closes Friday, Nov. 18

Early registration for the Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference has been extended to Nov. 18. The cost for early registration is $165; general registration after Nov. 18 is $195. Walk-up registration is $225. There is a separate registration fee of $55 for the Dec. 13 afternoon biofuels workshop and Vilsack presentation.

Online conference registration, the complete conference agenda, and lodging and exhibit information are available at the conference website, http://ucanr.org/sites/Alfalfa_Forages. The pre-symposium field tour on Dec. 11 is sold out.
For more information, contact Sherry Cooper at (530) 752-1581 or slcooper@ucdavis.edu.