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NMSU, NMHA hosts annual Southwest Hay and Forage Conference in Ruidoso Jan. 13-15

RUIDOSO ? Issues relating to crop production are never-ending. What is the newest insect pest? What?s next in weed resistance? When is the best time to plant?


These issues and many more will be topics at the 2016 Southwest Hay and Forage Conference Jan. 13 to 15 at the Ruidoso Convention Center, 111 Sierra Blanca Drive in Ruidoso.

New Mexico State University and the New Mexico Hay Association sponsor the annual event to provide opportunities for researchers and experts in a wide variety of topics to share the latest information with forage growers.

?The hay conference is a great opportunity for forage producers to come together and learn about the most up-to-date research advances and new products in the industry, as well as network with one another and share experiences,? said Mark Marsalis, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service forage specialist.

?The program is targeted toward Southwest hay, silage and pasture producers, with information specific to our unique growing conditions and water issues,? he said. ?There will be useful information for forage producers of all size of operations in New Mexico, from the small- to medium-sized hay and pasture farms in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, to the large scale operations in the Pecos Valley.?

Wednesday, Jan. 13, activities include the NMHA board meeting at the Lodge at Sierra Blanca Hotel followed by the Premier Sponsor Appreciation Board of Directors? Dinner at Texas Club Steakhouse.

The conference kicks off at 8 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, and concludes at noon Friday, Jan. 15.

Session topics include organic hay production, rodent and insect pest control, Roundup Ready Alfalfa weed resistance, planting dates research results, and alfalfa-corn rotation considerations, and an update about the newest pest in New Mexico: the Sugarcane Aphid.

The drought conditions of the Southwest and the use of available water continue to be major factors in crop production.

Thursday afternoon, a panel discussion on agricultural water use in New Mexico will feature David Gensler, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District; Gary Esslinger, Elephant Butte Irrigation District; and Aron Balok, Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District.

Friday morning, Ian Ray, NMSU plant and environmental sciences professor, will discuss opportunities to improve alfalfa?s drought resilience.

Updates will also be given on legislative issues, Worker?s Compensation and OSHA regulations, and livestock and hay markets. Industry exhibitors will present the latest from their companies throughout the conference at the trade show.

Five New Mexico Pesticide Applicator continuing education units have been approved for this conference.

Preregistration is $100 per person before Dec. 28. Attendees can register at the door for $120. Annual membership dues to the association are $45.

Registration includes the two-day conference, two meals and entertainment.

For more information on the conference, including a full agenda, visit http://www.nmhay.com or contact Cassie Sterrett by phone at 575-626-1688 or by e-mail at nmhay@yahoo.com. Registration forms are available online at http://www.nmhay.com or http://forages.nmsu.edu.

Marsalis can be contacted at 505-865-7340 or marsalis@nmsu.edu.

Contact Sterrett for a copy of the registration forms and exhibitor information. Booth space is still available.