University of California Alfalfa & Forages
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2015 Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium will be held in Reno, Nevada 2-3-4 December, 2015 at the Silver Legacy Hotel, with a focus on water, irrigation, pest management and economics.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about alfalfa and forage crops, and to visit with farmers, scientists, experts in various fields, and to learn a lot about this important crop. Eleven Western US States have joined forces this year to plan the Symposium, and will be managed by the California Alfalfa & Forage Association (Sacramento, CA). Typically we should have between 500 and 700 people attend.

Symposium Information and Agenda (PDF)
See the symposium website for registration and additional program information.


  • One-Day Alfalfa Irrigation Training Workshop (December 2)
  • Economic Trends
  • Pest Management Methodologies
  • Environmental/Water Issues
  • Alternative Forage Crops in a drought year
  • Forage Quality and Utilization
  • Harvesting Technology

PCA and CCA credits will be offered.
Sponsorships Available
Exhibits Encouraged (should have 60-70 exhibits)

For an idea about the previous symposia, visit the 2014 California Alfalfa and Grains Symposium web page (videos and written proceedings).

Hope to see you there!

Forage and Sorghum Field Day

2015 Forage and Grain Sorghum Field Day & Workshop was held at the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, CA, on September 30, 2015 from 8:00 am - 11:45 am.


  • Field Demonstration
  • Forage and Grain Sorghum Workshops

Full agenda (PDF)

Field Day sponsored by University of California Cooperative Extension, Imperial County

Lunch was served at 11:45am (Sponsored by Sorghum Partners).  For additional information abou this field day, please contact Oli Bachie,

Kearney Field Day

2015 Kearney Alfalfa and Forage Field Day was held at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, on September 18, 2015 from 7:30 am - 1:00 pm.

The alfalfa and forage field day at Kearney Agricultural Center featured a field tour and presentations on topics such as irrigation management, variety selection, and pest control. It was a great opportunity to learn more about alfalfa and forage crops, and to visit with farmers, scientists, experts in various fields, and to learn a lot about this important crop.


  • Alfalfa Varieties
  • Forage and Grain Sorghum Evaluations
  • Irrigation Management Research
  • Characterizing the Nitrogen Benefit of Alfalfa-Wheat Rotations
  • Alfalfa Weed Control Research Update
  • How Much Water Does Alfalfa Really Need? What is ET?
  • Strategies for Managing Limited Water Supplies
  • Chlorpyrifos and IPM Workshop

Full agenda (PDF)

Field Presentation Handouts (PDFs)

Field Day image
Irrigation and Pest Management Strategies for Forages During a Drought · UC Davis Alfalfa/Forages Field Day
Tuesday Afternoon · May 12, 2015 · Davis, CA

Farmers, PCAs, and CCAs tour research plots and discuss critical issues related to water and pest management.

UC Davis Field Day, May 12, 2015
• Grains program 8:30 AM – Noon
• Fee BBQ Lunch at 12 Noon (sponsored by California Crop Improvement Association)
• Alfalfa/Forages program 12:45 – approx. 4:15 PM

PCA Credits: 5 Hours (.5 Laws and Regs, 4.5 Other)
CCA Credits: 5 hours (1.5 soil/water, 2.5 Pest, .5 Crop mgt, .5 Prof. development)

The Alfalfa/Forages afternoon program included:

  • Measuring alfalfa water use
  • Use of sorghum as a forage in a drought year
  • Strategies for managing alfalfa during drought years
  • Subsurface Drip Irrigation – What are the possibilities?
  • Utilizing farm fields to replenish groundwater
  • Strategies for controlling gophers in drip and flood fields
  • Insect and nematode management strategies
  • New weed management tools
  • Crop rotations effects on N management
  • Alfalfa Varieties — yield and pest management implications

Full Program/Agenda

Field Presentation Handouts (PDFs)

Field day photo
Alfalfa/Field Crops Field Day in El Centro featured Alfalfa drip irrigation, drought strategies, pest management.

Water and Pest Management were the focus of a field day held on April 16, 2015 at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, CA in the Imperial Valley.
7 a.m. through Noon.

APPROVED CEU's: Certified Crop Adviser (CA 53247 – 4hrs.), CA CEU (M-0663-15 – 1hr.) & AZ CEU (EXC-318-15A – 1hr.)

Lunch was included (sponsored by mOasis).

Topics of discussion included water issues with alfalfa and forages, as well as other agronomic crops:

  • Drought Issues
  • Subsurface Drip with Alfalfa
  • How to manage water — irrigation scheduling
  • Alfalfa Varieties
  • Alternative crops — king grass, oilseed crops, biofuels
  • Sugarbeet irrigation
  • Pest management with alfalfa and other crops

It was a great time of year to be in the desert!

Click here for a full program

Long Beach, CA

The 2014 California Alfalfa, Forage, and Grain Symposium was held December 10–12, 2014, Long Beach, CA. — Forages and grains cover greater than 2 million acres in California. Many vital issues pertaining to water, pest management, and economics of alfalfa, forages, and grain crops were covered. Visit the 2014 California Alfalfa and Grains Symposium web page for a complete review of the program with proceedings papers, videos from the conference, and powerpoints. Videos are available for all of the talks with the exception of Breakout Session II on December 11, 2014 (due to limited videographer resources).

The Subsurface Drip Irrigation in Alfalfa Workshop was held on the afternoon of Friday, December 12, 2014. View workshop presentations.

Long Beach, CA
This symposium has been sponsored by the University of California since 1971. We have all of the proceedings and many of the Powerpoints (and more recently, videos) of this conference on-line. Please click on the year of interest:

Search Proceedings

All Symposia Proceedings (1971-2014) are archived with a search engine, which can be obtained on the Search Proceedings page. Put in any subject or author to obtain articles on many subjects. This is a great source of Western alfalfa information.

Irrigated Alfalfa Cover Image
A new 24-chapter publication designed to provide detailed, scientifically-based comprehensive information about the growth, production, management, and utilization of alfalfa grown under irrigation.

Field Day

Field Days

The Alfalfa & Forage Systems Workgroup periodically holds field days to discuss on-going research. We have archived some of the handouts from these field days. Please see below to view selected handouts, presentations, and information from our 2014 Field Days:
  • El Centro Field Day, 2014: An alfalfa and field crops field day was held in El Centro, Imperial County on 17th April. Alfalfa drip irrigation, varieties, wheat, oilseed crops, and sorghum was featured. See PDF of the handouts here.

  • Davis Field Day, 2014: An alfalfa and grains field day was held on the UC Davis Campus on May 7th, 2014. It featured new research on measuring water use in alfalfa, drought response, weeds, aphids, pest management, low lignin trait in alfalfa. See schedule here.

  • Kearney Field Day, 2014: The alfalfa and forage field day at Kearney was held on September 12th. It featured a field tour and presentations on topics such as irrigation management, variety selection, and pest control. Visit the Kearney Field day page for links to handouts and presentations/slide sets.

Producing Alfalfa
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Learn to produce alfalfa from General Information to Seed Production.
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Consult data tables from variety trials by location to help pick an alfalfa variety.
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