University of California Alfalfa & Forages
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It’s important for growers who are producing for sensitive markets (those that reject GMO alfalfa) such as export or organic to produce non-GE alfalfa Hay. See PAPER on production of non-GE alfalfa – soon to be published in Crop, Forage and Turfgrass Management. Also, see PAPER on Sampling methods for low level presence.



2015 Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium was held in Reno, Nevada 2-3-4 December, 2015 at the Silver Legacy Hotel. WE had a terrific and enthusiastic crowd, with a total of 570 attendees, and 71 exhibits.

This year we had a special focus on water and irrigation issues, but also plenty on pest management, economics, alternative crops, forage quality, and equipment. To see a complete schedule with Proceedings Papers, and Powerpoints and Videos of presentations, see:

2015 Irrigation Program & Workshop Videos and PDFs of workshop talks available here.

Symposium Information and Agenda (PDF)

For an Archive of 45 Years of Western and California Alfalfa Symposia, please see: Symposium Proceedings Archive

This symposium was organized by the Cooperative Extension Services of 11 Western States, and managed by The California Alfalfa & Forage Association this year – see the symposium registration website at:

Dan Putnam (UC Davis)
Glenn Shewmaker (Univ. of Idaho)
Steve Orloff (UCCE)
(symposium chairs)

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 2014-2015 Field Days:
  • Alfalfa/Field Crops Field Day in El Centro, 2015 was held on April 16, 2015 at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, CA in the Imperial Valley. Water and Pest Management were the focus of a field day. Topics of discussion included water issues with alfalfa and forages, as well as other agronomic crops.

  • UC Davis Alfalfa/Forages Field Day, 2015 was held at UC Davis on May 12, 2015. At this field day Farmers, PCAs, and CCAs toured research plots to discuss critical issues related to water and pest management. Visit the UCD Alfalfa/Forage Field Day page.

  • Kearney Alfalfa and Forage Field Day, 2015 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. Visit the Kearney Field Day page.

  • Forage and Grain Sorghum Field Day & Workshop, 2015 was held at the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville, CA, on September 30, 2015. Offered at this field day was a field demonstration and workshops focused on Forage and Sorghum.

  • 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.
Variety Selection
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Consult data tables from variety trials by location to help pick an alfalfa variety.
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Keep up on the latest symposium.
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Find and learn about people involved with the California Alfalfa Workgroup.