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New Mexico State University

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NMSU presents annual forage growers workshop Dec. 2 in Los Lunas

LOS LUNAS ? Alfalfa and other forage plants may be entering the dormant stage of the year, but the farmer is preparing for next year?s growing season with great anticipation.


To help the producer to have the best yields and profitability possible, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service will present its annual forage growers workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at UNM-Valencia Campus, 280 La Entrada Road, in Tome.

The workshop, hosted by NMSU Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service, NMSU Extension Plant Sciences Department, and the NMSU Small Farm and Ranch Task Force, will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte will be the keynote speaker to open the workshop at 8 a.m.

Registration fee is $20, which includes program materials, door prizes and lunch.

?This year?s program is full of timely topics that include the most up-to-date and pertinent information for our producers,? said Newt McCarty, Valencia County Extension agricultural agent. ?It is the perfect opportunity for producers to ask the questions and get the answers they need to continue being successful producers.?

Topics will range from building healthy soil and optimizing fertilization to controlling pests and weeds, including bindweed. Presenters will also discuss efficient irrigation and U.S. Department of Agriculture programs summaries.

?The workshop will focus on the small- to medium-sized hay and pasture farms in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, but there will be useful information for forage producers of all sizes of operations in New Mexico, said Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension forage specialist and superintendent of NMSU?s Agricultural Science Center at Los Lunas.

?The program is diverse and is a great value for the information gained at this workshop. Plus, those needing pesticide applicator CEUs late in the year can obtain five credits at the event,? Marsalis said.

Presentations will include:
? Key arthropod pests of common forage crops, presented by Carol Sutherland, NMSU/NMDA entomologist.
? Using gall mites for field bindweed control in pastures and other forage crops, presented by Leonard Lauriault, NMSU forage agronomist, superintendent of NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari.
? Building soil health in forage production systems, presented by John Idowu, NMSU soil health agronomist.
? How to optimize your fertilization for forages, presented by Robert Flynn, NMSU Extension soil scientist.
? Efficient irrigation for forage production, presented by Dan Smeal, irrigation research scientist at NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Farmington.
? New Mexico noxious weed free forage program, presented by Michael Ronquillo, NMSU Seed Certification senior program specialist.
? Weed control in alfalfa and other forage crops, presented by Mark Marsalis.
? Do-it-yourself invasive weed and brush control, presented by Greg Alpers, Dow Agro Science senior sales specialist.

For more information about the workshop, contact McCarty at 505-565-3002. Register online at valenciaextension.nmsu.edu/foragegrowers.html.