University of California Alfalfa Symposia
Alfalfa Leaf Image 2016 Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium Alfalfa Leaf Image
Aiming Towards Profitability
November 29th - December 4th, 2016 | Reno, NV
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The organizers of the 2016 California Alfalfa & Grains Conference wish to express their heartfelt thanks to the many sponsors of this year's conference.

  • S & W Seed Company
  • HarvXtra Alfalfa
  • Bowles Farming Company
  • CropScience, a division of Bayer
  • San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers
  • Western Ag Enterprises, Inc.
  • America's alfalfa
  • Senniger Irrigation
  • American Ag Credit
  • Eureka Seeds
  • Sierra Testing Service
  • Toro Micro Irrigation
  • Reinke
  • Progressive Forage Grower

2016 Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, sponsored by the The UC California Alfalfa & Forage Systems Workgroup & Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY.

Now in its 46th year, the symposium is planned each year by the California Alfalfa & Forage Systems Workgroup, made up of University of California Farm Advisors and Scientists in UC Cooperative Extension, along with grower and industry liaison members. The comprehensive conference covered many aspects of alfalfa, forage & grains management from economics to pest management, irrigation and utilization. Videos, papers, and slidesets related to the presentations have been posted below.

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Schedule of Events

DAY ONE-Tuesday, November 29

6:30am-7:00pm Symposium and Exhibitor Registration

9:00am-4:50pm Pest Management Workshop Prevention and Management of Pest Damages to Alfalfa View Workshop Papers (PDF) & Videos
4:50pm Adjourn
5:30pm-7:30pm Symposium Welcome Reception with Exhibitors Cocktails and Hors D'oevures. Exhibits open.

DAY TWO - Wednesday, November 30




8:00am Welcome and Introduction Dan Putnam, Symposium Chair, University of California, Davis, CA

Economics and Industry Trends

Moderator: TBA
8:05am Hay Market Trends in 2016/2017 Seth Hoyt, The Hoyt Report, Ione, CA Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
8:35am California Dairy Trends Eric Erba, California Dairies, Inc., Visalia, CAT Video Slides (PDF)
9:05am When Someone Claims to Know Where Commodity Prices are Really Heading… Grab Your Wallet and Run!  Daniel A. Sumner, Ag Issues Center, University of California, Davis, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
9:35am Reducing Costs in a Down year: Where to Cut and Where Not to Cut? Steve Orloff, UC Cooperative Extension, Yreka, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)

10:05am Discussion Video
10:05am BREAK

Exports, Regulation and Research

Moderator: Robert Ferguson, Ferguson Farms, Stockton, CA
10:30am Alfalfa Export Trends and GMO Acceptance in Export Markets Dan Putnam, University of California, Davis, CA
Dynamic Hay Export Growth Led by China D.H. Putnam, W.A Matthews, and D. A. Summers Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
Sensitivity to GE Alfalfa Remains Important for Alfalfa Export and Organic Markets Dan Putnam, University of California, Davis, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
11:00am Challenges of Our Regulatory Environment: Emerging Issues of Importance to the Alfalfa Industry Richard Matteis, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento, CA Video Slides (PDF)
11:30am National Research Funding: Although Forages are the Underdog, New and Enhanced Opportunities Beth Nelson, National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance, St. Paul, MN   Video Slides (PDF)
11:45am Developing Funding for Research and Educational Purposes: Why Hay Growers Must Act Brandon Fawaz, Fawaz Farming, Etna, CA Video Slides (PDF)
12:00pm Discussion
12:10pm SYMPOSIUM LUNCH - Jim Kunh Award

Irrigation & Water Use Efficiency

Moderator: Dennis Hannaford, Netafim, Fresno, CA
1:30pm Principles of Irrigation Management in Alfalfa Utilizing Evapotranspiration Data Daniele Zaccaria, University of California, Davis, CA Video
1:55pm Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) and Low Elevation Spray Application (LESA) Trials in the Pacific Northwest Troy Peters, Washington State University, Prosser, WA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
2:20pm Tools for Improved Management of Surface Irrigation Khaled Bali, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA  Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
2:45pm Subsurface Drip Irrigation and Possibilities in Alfalfa Freddie Lamm, Kansas State University, Colby, KS Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
3:10pm Discussion Video
3:15pm BREAK

Fertility and Soil Management

Moderator: Shannon Mueller, UC Farm Advisor, Fresno, CA
3:45pm Management of Salinity in Alfalfa Michelle Leinfelder‐Miles, UC Cooperative Extension, Stockton, CA  Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
4:10pm Management of Phosphorus and Potassium for Alfalfa Production Nick Clark, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare, CA Video Slides (PDF)
4:35pm Global Fertilizer Trends – Getting More Into Your Crop? Rob Mikkelsen, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Merced, CA  Video Paper (PDF)

5:00pm Discussion Video

DAY 3 - Thursday, December 1

7:00am-10:30am EXHIBITS OPEN


Producing Quality Alfalfa

Moderator: Konrad Mathesius, UCCE, Colusa, CA
8:00am Defining and Re‐defining Forage Quality David Combs, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
8:25am Changing Nature of Dairy Rations Heidi Rossow, University of California Veterinary Medical Center, Tulare, CA Video Slides (PDF)
8:50am Key Agronomic Effects on Forage Quality Dan Putnam, University of California, Davis, CA Video Paper (PDF)
9:15am Innovative Methods to Preserve Quality Kevin Shinners, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Putnam, University of California, Davis, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
9:40am Preserving Quality and Other Advantages of Bale Wrapping: Iowa and California Experiences Dan Funke, Funke Custom Baling & Hay Sales, Larchwood, IA, and Brandon Fawaz, Fawaz Farming, Etna, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
10:05am Discussion Video
10:15am BREAK

Genes and the Future of Forage Crops

Moderator: Dan Putnam, University of California, Davis, CA
10:40am Roundup Ready Alfalfa: Avoiding Injury while Maximizing Weed Control Steve Orloff, UC Cooperative Extension, Yreka, CA Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
11:05am Emerging Genetic Technologies that May Impact Forage Crops Charlie Brummer, Plant Breeding Center, University of California, Davis, CA Video Slides (PDF)
11:30am Low Lignin Alfalfa: Wide Area Field Test Results Mark Sulc, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH Video Slides (PDF) Paper (PDF)
11:55am Roundtable Discussion Q & A: What is the Potential Role of Reduced Lignin for Alfalfa and Dairy ProductionSystems and Hay Markets? Mark McCaslin, Forage Genetics International, Don Miller, Alforex Seeds, David  Combs, University of Wisconsin, Heidi Rossow, University of California, Mark Sulc, The Ohio State University and Charlie Brummer, University of California Video Slides (PDF)

12:30pm ADJOURN

CONTINUING EDUCATION The following CE credits have been approved. Please sign in/out of each session you attend to be eligible for credits. Sign in sheets will be provided in the meeting rooms of each qualifying session.

Certified Crop Advisor Approved CEUs:
Dec. 2 Irrigation Management Workshop: 8 hours Soil & Water Management
Dec. 3 Morning Session: 1.5 hrs. Soil & Water Management; 1.5 hrs. Professional Development
Dec. 3 Breakout: Alternative Forage Crops: 1 hr. Nutrient Management.; 1.5 hrs. Soil & Water Management; 1.5 hrs. Crop Management
Dec. 3 Breakout: Pest Management: 3.5 hrs. Integrated Pest Management
Dec. 4 Morning Session: 2 hrs. Nutrient Management; 2 hrs. Crop Management
Manure Management: 0
Field Tour: 4 hours professional Development (Educational Tour)

CALIFORNIA Pest Control Advisors
Dec 3. Breakout: Pest Management: 2.5 hrs. “Other”; 0.5 hrs. “Pest Laws/Regulations”

OREGON Pesticide Applicators
Dec. 3 Breakout: Pest Management: 2 hrs.

NEVADA Pesticide Applicators
Dec. 3 Breakout: Pest Management: 3 hrs. “General”; 0.5 hrs. “Law”

Soil & Water Management Care
8 hours CCA continuing education credits for workshop