Forage production is the leading agricultural crop in the Middle Rio Grande Valley with 20,050 acres planted in 2007 in Valencia and Bernalillo counties. Production in the two counties generated 93,826 tons in 2007, according to the USDA 2007 Ag Census, which ranked the area seventh overall in the state.
To help farmers stay abreast of the latest information regarding irrigation and crop management, pest management, weed identification and herbicide usage, New Mexico State University’s Valencia County Extension office is hosting a free forage production workshop on Friday, July 31, at the UNM-Valencia Campus student community center, 280 La Entrada Road.
“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 the area into small-acreage farms that need help and guidance with farming in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Kyle Tator, Valencia County Extension agriculture agent.
The workshop will include sessions on:
• NMSU’s weed-free forage program with Tracey Carrillo, director of NMSU seed certification program.
• Irrigated permanent pasture and alfalfa management with Leonard Lauriault, NMSU forage agronomist at the Tucumcari Agricultural Science Center.
• Forage crop production with Mark Marsalis, NMSU Extension agronomy specialist at Clovis Agricultural Science Center.
• Integrated pest management for irrigated pasture and forage crops with Tess Grasswitz, NMSU Extension integrated pest management specialist at Los Lunas Agricultural Science Center.
• Weed identification with Jim Wanstall, New Mexico Department of Agriculture state noxious weed coordinator.
• Herbicide usage: what herbicide controls each species with Greg Alpers, Dow Agro Sciences.
• USDA conservation programs for agriculture producers with Josh Sherman, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service in Los Lunas.
• Irrigation management with Craig Runyan, NMSU Water Task Force coordinator.
“The workshop will earn five, continuing-education units for the renewal of the NMDA private applicators license necessary for buying restricted-usage herbicides,” said Tator.
The event that is co-sponsored by NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Service and the Rio Grande Basin Initiative will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch will be provided by New Mexico Tractor Sales in Belen. For more information, or to register, contact Kyle Tator at the Valencia County Extension office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (505) 565-3002.