Southwest Hay and Forage Conference will be in Ruidoso Jan. 24-25

Irrigation efficiencies and pest management will highlight the Southwest Hay and Forage Conference Jan. 24 to 25, 2019, at the Ruidoso Convention Center.

“It is important for producers to stay up-to-date on the latest advances in the hay industry,” said Mark Marsalis, New Mexico State University Extension forage specialist. “This conference will address some of the more common issues that growers face on a daily basis, management of water and controlling pests.”

The conference, sponsored by the New Mexico Hay Association and NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, is targeted toward southwestern hay, silage and pasture producers, with information specific to the unique growing conditions and water issues in the region.

“We’ve assembled a broad range of forage knowledge and expertise from universities, crop consultants and industry interests across the United States,” Marsalis said. “The conference provides a great opportunity for producers to bring their questions directly to consultants, industry representatives, researchers and specialists, all in one place.”

Among the speakers will be specialists from across the western U.S. with experience of producing forages in challenging environmental and economic conditions.

Irrigation-related presentations will include the following:

John Gibson and Chris Pope, Crop Quest in Kansas, will speak on the advances in irrigation technologies, including variable rate irrigation and remote sensing options and implementation that are available to producers.

Chuck DuMars, Law and Resource Planning Associates in Albuquerque, will provide information on the latest water supply issues facing New Mexico agricultural producers.

Jourdan Bell, Extension agronomist with Texas AgriLife Extension in Amarillo, Texas, will speak on proper irrigation management and quality considerations for corn silage.

“Each year, various pests in the form of insects, weeds and vertebrate pests cost New Mexico hay growers millions of dollars. It is important that growers understand the pests that they are dealing with and the management options that are available to them,” said Marsalis. “This year’s program will have several presenters to address this.”

Pest-related presentations will be given by the following:

Leslie Beck, NMSU Extension weed specialist, will provide an overview of the latest weed control tactics in forages, as well as an update on ongoing research investigating chemical options for hard-to-control perennial weeds in alfalfa.

Ayman Mostafa, University of Arizona Extension specialist, will provide the latest in integrated pest management strategies for alfalfa weevil and aphids

Elson Shields, Cornell University, and Leonard Lauriault, NMSU forage agronomist, will speak about the potential for a new biocontrol mechanism for root-feeding insects in alfalfa.

Greg Alpers, Dow AgroSciences, will provide an update on the latest happenings in the chemical industry and potential impacts due to recent policy and restrictions changes.

Steve Baca, NMDA, will give a pesticides and regulations update.

John Grant, USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services, will address rodent and other wildlife control measures and programs.

Other presentations include:

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Dairy perspectives of hay feeding and new hay traits by Jay Thurman, nutritionist, Dairy Nutrition Management Consulting, LLC.

Proper soil testing and a tool for soil test interpretation by Robert Flynn, NMSU Extension agronomist at Artesia.

A legislative update by Matthew Gonzales of New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau will provide information on the latest bills and issues facing agricultural interests in the upcoming legislative session.

Participants will have opportunities to hear from ag-industry representatives on the latest chemical, seed, equipment and other products available during two industry update sessions.

Following a social hour and dinner Thursday evening, family-friendly and inspiring comedian David Ferrell will provide the after-dinner entertainment.

Back by popular demand, this year’s program will include a special spouses’ interest session, “Painting with Peggy Krantz.” Krantz is a local New Mexico artist who hosts “paint parties” for those who wish to learn how to paint and hone their skills in a fun and relaxing environment. An afternoon session will be available on Jan. 24, for just $30 per person.

The two-day conference will host a machinery trade show, featuring the latest in farm equipment, as well as booths with various seed, chemical, irrigation and fertilizer products and natural resource planning related information.

The New Mexico Hay Association board of directors meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 23, at the MCM Elegante Lodge & Resort, formerly the Lodge of Sierra Blanca, and again immediately following the conference.

Four New Mexico pesticide applicator continuing education units have been approved for this meeting. CEUs for Texas and Arizona have been requested.

Attendees can register at the door for $120. Annual membership dues to the association are $45.

Register online at Registration includes the two-day conference, two meals, snacks, door prizes, educational materials and entertainment.

On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Convention Center. The conference adjourns at noon Friday.

Lodging is available, at a discount, adjacent to the Ruidoso Convention Center at the MCM Elegante Lodge and Resort, formerly the Lodge at Sierra Blanca. A number of rooms are reserved at the special rate. To obtain a reservation, visit or call 866-211-7727

For more information on the conference, including a full agenda, visit or contact Cassie Sterrett at 575-626-1688 or [email protected]. Registration forms are available online at or

Marsalis can be contacted at 505-865-7340 or [email protected].