The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Agricultural Division will host the first ever Texoma Pasture Conference to discuss the use of legumes as a potential solution for the high cost of fertilizer.

The 2008 Texoma Pasture Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 19, at Heritage Hall in Ardmore. The event is entitled Pros, Cons and Economics of Clovers and Other Legumes.

Speakers for the conference will include Noble Foundation staff and other legume experts from around the country, including Garry Lacefield, Ph.D., Extension Forage Specialist, University of Kentucky, and Don Ball, Ph.D., Extension Agronomist, Auburn University. Together, Lacefield and Ball are two of three authors of Southern Forages, a book containing information concerning forage production and information related to plant characteristics, fertilizer and nutrients.

Additional presentations will be provided by Gerald Evers, professor of forage management from Texas A&M, as well as presentations by the Noble Foundation’s Joe Bouton, Senior Vice President and Director of the Forage Improvement Division, and Dan Childs, Agricultural Economist.

“I can’t think of a better group of people with more experience on the topic,” said James Rogers, pasture and range consultant and Noble Foundation Agricultural Division team manager. “These are the highest caliber of speakers on this topic. This is an excellent opportunity to come and learn from the best in the country.”

The fast-rising cost of fertilizer is pushing agricultural producers to search for alternatives. Nitrogen, once only 25¢ per pound, is now 65¢ per pound, an increase of more than 50 percent in the last few years. As these prices increase, many forage-based operations are taking a second glance at legumes, such as alfalfa, clovers and similar crops, and their ability to add nitrogen back into the soil.

The event’s schedule will include a wide array of sessions concerning legume production. The first session is presented by Lacefield and entitled It’s Time to Get Excited about Legumes.

“His presentation is so good; after you listen to it, you will want to run out into the parking lot and plant legumes,” Rogers said.

Other sessions include Ball’s presentation on growth and forage production, and Noble Foundation consultants’ prediction of future areas of nitrogen and legume production.

Registration is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Lunch is provided. To take advantage of this unique opportunity, register online at www.noble.org/agevents or call 580.224.6500 for more information. There will also be a trade show provided by event sponsors throughout the conference.