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NMSU Valencia County Extension hosts forage production workshop

LOS LUNAS, N.M. - Back by popular demand! New Mexico State University's Valencia County Extension Service is hosting a forage production workshop Friday, July 30, at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus' student community center, 280 La Entrada Road, Los Lunas.

Due to limited space, early registration is encouraged. Call the Valencia County Extension office at 505-565-3002 or send email valencia@nmsu.edu to register for the free all-day workshop, which will begin at 7:30 a.m.

"Forage and hay production are a large part of the Middle Rio Grande's agricultural livelihood," said Kyle Tator, NMSU's Valencia County agricultural agent. "This program helps keep producers in touch with the latest research and information on forage production."

Forage production is the leading agricultural crop in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, with 20,000-plus acres planted in Valencia and Bernalillo counties. Production in the two counties generates 94,000 tons annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2009 Agriculture Census, which ranked the area seventh overall in the state.

"We want to provide information that will be helpful for the farmers who have been producing forage all their lives, as well as provide relevant information to people who have just moved to small-acreage farms in the area that need help and guidance with farming in the Rio Grande Valley," said Tator.

The workshop will include sessions on the following:

? Common forage insects with Scott Bundy from NMSU's Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science Department.

? Soil health for optimal crop production with John Idowu, NMSU Extension agronomy specialist.

? Post-harvest management with Francisco Contreras, NMSU agronomist, Agricultural Science Center at Artesia.

? Alfalfa production with Leonard Lauriault, NMSU forage agronomist, Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari.

? Annual forage crop production with Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension agronomy specialist, Agricultural Science Center at Clovis.

? Horse forages with Jason Turner, NMSU Extension horse specialist.

? Weed identification and control with Jim Wanstall, New Mexico Department of Agriculture weed specialist.

? Herbicide uses: "What Herbicide Controls Each Species?" with Greg Alpers, Dow Agro Sciences.

"Participants with private pesticide applicator licenses will be able to earn five continuing education units to maintain their applicator license," Tator said.

Lunch will be provided. Local businesses helping sponsor the event include New Mexico Tractor Sales, John Deere, and Old Mill Farm and Ranch.