University of California Alfalfa & Forages
Alfalfa Leaf Image 2009 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference Alfalfa Leaf Image
“Improving Your Odds of Profitability”
December 2 – 4, 2009 • Grand Sierra Resort and Casino • Reno, NV
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The 2009 Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, combined with the 39th California Alfalfa & Forage symposium, was held in Reno, NV, December 2-4, 2009. There were more than 600 attendees and 80 exhibitors. For information about currently-planned alfalfa conferences, please click here. To search 39 years of alfalfa symposium proceedings, click here.

Click here for program and links to talks that were presented.

View Symposium Schedule

Download Program: pdf doc
Wednesday, Dec 2nd
Workshop Participant Sign In
12:30 - 1 PM
Sign in and pick up nametag and workshop schedule and handouts.
Hands-On Alfalfa Diagnostics Workshop (optional)
1 - 5:30 PM
This Diagnostic Workshop will provide attendees with an intensive hands-on experience diagnosing important problems in alfalfa production: soil limitations, soil and plant tissue testing and interpretation, weeds, insects and diseases. Small groups will rotate between the four stations to work with experts in each area. Enrollment is limited so register early.

Participants will rotate through each of the following sessions:
  • Soils and Fertilizers: Analysis, Sampling and Interpretation
    Diseases and Nematodes: Identification and IPM Measures
    Weeds: Identification, Injury Symptoms and Control
    Insects: Sampling, Identification and IPM Practices
Exhibitor Setup
4 - 9 PM
6 - 8 PM
Thursday, Dec 3rd
Exhibitor Setup
6 - 8 AM
6:30 - 8 AM
Morning Main Session
8 - Noon
Alfalfa Industry and Market Trends
8:00 am Welcome
Steve Orloff, Symposium Chair, UC Cooperative Extension, Yreka, CA
8:05 Trends in the Alfalfa Industry: Is it really as bad as it looks?
Dan Putnam, Extension Forage Specialist, UC Davis, Davis, CA
8:25 Dairy Outlook: What is the future of dairies in the West?
Bill Van Dam, Alliance of Western Milk Producers, Sacramento, CA
8:50 How Dairies are Dealing with the Current Economic Situation: Impact on Forages
Mireille Chahine, Extension Dairy Specialist, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
9:15 What Happened to All the Horses and What are They Eating?
Anne Rodiek, Professor, Dept of Animal Science and Agriculture Education, Cal State University, Fresno, CA
9:40 Discussion
9:50 Break
Improving Profitability
10:20 Reducing Inputs to Improve Profits: Good or bad idea?
Steve Orloff, Farm Advisor, UCCE, Yreka, CA
10:40 Adapting Cutting Management to Market Conditions
Glenn Shewmaker, Forage Specialist, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
11:00 Panel Discussion: Marketing Your Hay in a Low Priced Year
Dick Schader, Red Rock Ranch, Macdoel, CA
Philip Bowles, Bowles Farming, Los Banos, CA
Norman Beach, San Joaquin Valley Haygrowers Assn., Tracy, CA
11:30 Surviving Difficult Times: Lessons learned from those who have and have not
Bob Boyle, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Salem, OR
11:50 Discussion
Day 1 Banquet Lunch
Noon - 1:30 PM
Simultaneous Afternoon Breakout Sessions (I-III)
1:30 - 3 PM and 3:30 - 5 PM (repeats)
Breakout Session I: Pest Management in Alfalfa
Organizers: Rachael Long, Farm Advisor, UCCE, Woodland, CA and Phil Petersen, Area Extension Educator, WSU, Ephrata, WA
1:30 Conventional and Organic Methods for Insect Pest Control in Alfalfa Production
Rachael Long, Farm Advisor, UCCE, Woodland, CA
1:50 Control Strategies for Some Difficult to Control Weeds
Mick Canevari, Farm Advisor Emeritus, UCCE, Stockton, CA
2:10 Vertebrate Pest Control in Alfalfa
Michael Slater, Wildlife Biologist, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services, La Grande, OR
2:30 Alfalfa Nematodes and their Management
Saad Hafez, Extension Professor, Nematology, University of Idaho, Parma, ID
2:50 Discussion
3:00 Break
Breakout Session II: Soils and Irrigation
Organizers: Larry Schwankl, Irrigation Specialist, UC Davis, Parlier, CA and Rob Mikkelsen, Western Director, International Plant Nutrition Institute, Merced, CA
1:30 How Do You Know Your Lab Results Are Any Good?
Dirk Holstege, Director DANR Analytical Laboratory, UC Davis, Davis, CA
1:50 Site Specific Fertilization of Alfalfa Fields: Improved yield at lower costs?
Andre Biscaro, Farm Advisor, UCCE, Lancaster, CA
2:10 Center Pivot Management
Howard Neibling, Extension Water Management Engineer, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
2:30 Subsurface Drip Irrigation in Alfalfa: A grower's initial experience
Cannon Michael, Bowles Farming, Los Banos, CA
2:50 Discussion
3:00 Break
Breakout Session III: Bio-Energy and Alternative Forages
Organizers: Steve Fransen, Forage Agronomist, WSU, Prosser, WA and Jay Davidson, Area Forage and Alternative Crops Specialist, UNCE, Fallon, NV
1:30 Overview of Bio-Energy Crops and the Conversion Process
Birgitte Ahring, Director Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, WSU Tri-Cities, Richland, WA
1:50 Agronomics of Switchgrass for Biofuel in the West
Steve Fransen, Forage Agronomist, Washington State University, Prosser, WA
2:10 Annual Warm-Season Grasses for Bio-Fuel Production in the West
Mike Ottman, Extension Agronomist, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2:30 Teff Grass: A new alternative
Don Miller, Director of Product Development, Producer’s Choice Seeds, Nampa, ID
2:50 Discussion
3:00 Break
Exhibitor's Reception
5 - 6:30 PM
State Haygrower’s Organization Dinner Meeting
7 PM
Representatives from state haygrower’s associations and national associations — contact your state haygrower’s organization for further information.
Friday, Dec 4th
CAFA Breakfast ( See CAFA booth for ticket )
6:15 AM
General Session
8 - Noon
Water Issues
8:00 Future of Agricultural Water in the West
Dan Keppen, Executive Director, Family Farm Alliance, Klamath Falls, OR
8:25 The Impact of Drought on Crop Choice and Water Marketing
Richard Howitt, Agricultural Economist, UC Davis, Davis, CA
8:50 Coping with Low Water Years: What strategies can you use?
Blaine Hanson, Irrigation Specialist, UC Davis, Davis, CA
9:15 Discussion
9:25 Break
Innovations and Future Developments
9:55 The Future of Alfalfa and Forage Crops
Maria Monteros, Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
10:20 Low-Lignin Alfalfa: Redefining the Yield/Quality Tradeoff
Dan Undersander, Extension and Research Forage Agronomist, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
10:45 What’s New from the Alfalfa Industry
(series of brief presentations from the alfalfa industry discussing new innovations and product development)