OVERTON – The East Texas Alfalfa Conference will be held March 24 in Overton. The event begins with registration from 7:30-8:15 a.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1710 N. Farm-to-Market Road 3053 and ends at 3:45 p.m. Cost is $20 if preregistered by March 21 or $30 the day of the event, which includes conference materials, lunch and snacks. The event is co-hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and will include speakers with both research and extension backgrounds.
Topics and speakers include:
— Alfalfa Overview, Dr. Joe Bouton, professor emeritus, University of Georgia, and owner of Bouton Consulting Group LLC, Athens, Georgia.
— Alfalfa Agronomics, Dr. Vince Haby, soil sciences professor emeritus, AgriLife Research, Overton.
— Insect Pests of Alfalfa, Dr. Allen Knutson, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Dallas.
— Alfalfa Disease Issues, Dr. Tom Isakeit, AgriLife Extension field crop specialist, College Station.
— Alfalfa Grazing, Dr. Monte Rouquette, AgriLife Research forage physiology, Overton.
— Alfalfa Interseeding into Bermuda Grass Meadows, Bouton.
— Feeding Alfalfa, Dr. Ellen Jordan, AgriLife Extension dairy specialist, Dallas.
— Economics of Alfalfa, Dr. Jon Biermacher, Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma.
— Alfalfa Harvesting Methods, Haby.
Speakers will be followed by a panel discussion.
Rouquette said alfalfa has long been considered the “queen of the forages” because it helps maintain soil attributes and provides a source of nutrients for animal and human food. Alfalfa has high nutritional value and has been historically used as hay. In East Texas, alfalfa has been difficult to grow and maintain because of the region’s acidic soils.
“Dr. Haby pioneered the best management strategies for site selection and soil amendments to successfully establish and grow alfalfa for hay,” he said. “Hay producers who want to incorporate alfalfa into their meadows or learn more about what it takes to produce quality alfalfa in East Texas should attend. The speakers at this event have experience with alfalfa, and how to grow it effectively and efficiently in this region. They will discuss alfalfa production for hay, dairy or beef cattle producers.”