The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering three alfalfa mini workshops for West Texas alfalfa growers on Aug. 25-26 in Balmorhea, Lamesa and Plainview.
The workshops will include discussion of agronomics, irrigation requirements and insect pests, and include a visit to a nearby alfalfa field.
The cost is $10 per workshop and participants may pay onsite. No advance registration is required.
One integrated pest management and one general Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education credit will be available at each workshop.
“Alfalfa is widely regarded as the ‘queen of forage’,” said Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock. “But this queen is very thirsty, and irrigation requirements can be from 24 inches to 48 inches to reach target yield goals.”
He said this in turn excludes many producers from even considering producing the crop, so the programs are timed in advance of possible fall seeding.
Each program is developed for broad regional application, and both interested and existing alfalfa growers in West Texas should plan to attend, Trostle said.
West Texas alfalfa meetings
Trostle will speak at each event along with an AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist. The locations, details and contacts for the meetings are as follows:
- Balmorhea, Aug. 25, 8:30 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. This program will also include a discussion of summer annual forages — sorghum/sudan. Participants will meet at the Balmorhea Community Center, 101 Interstate Highway 10. Local contact: Macey Bunch, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Reeves County, 432-287-0600, email@example.com.
- Lamesa, Aug. 25, 4-7:30 p.m. Participants will meet at the AgriLife Extension office in Dawson County, 400 S. First Street. Local contact: Gary Roschetzky, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Dawson County, 806-872-3444, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Plainview, Aug. 26, 8:30 a.m.-noon. Participants will meet at the Ollie Liner Center, 2000 S. Columbia. Local contact: Andy Hart, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Hale County, 806-291-5267, email@example.com.
AgriLife Extension on alfalfa
“A common ‘correction’ AgriLife Extension often provides to prospective alfalfa growers is fitting their alfalfa field acres—often reducing field size— to the available irrigation capacity,” Roschetzky said.
“Growers fail to understand recommended minimum irrigation capacity, which is at least 8 gallons per minute per acre, and in hot regions like Reeves County, over 10 gallons per minute per acre,” Trostle said.
Bunch said her alfalfa growers range from a few acres to several hundred and regardless of how many acres a grower has, these workshops offer something for everyone.
Additional information on West Texas alfalfa may be found at http://lubbock.tamu.edu/alfalfa.