UW scientist starts three-year, three-state alfalfa study

Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam atop the drill used to plant alfalafa plots at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle. Ph.D. student Dennis Ashilenje, middle, and master's student Saugat Baskota assist. A single variety is planted through the seven tubes for each 5-foot by 20-foot plot.
Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam atop the drill used to plant alfalafa plots at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle. Ph.D. student Dennis Ashilenje, middle, and master’s student Saugat Baskota assist. A single variety is planted through the seven tubes for each 5-foot by 20-foot plot.

Alfalfa seed has already been planted to start a three-year study in three states to develop potassium information and improve alfalfa production and quality within the central and western U.S.

Plots were seeded earlier this month at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle, with additional studies near Fort Collins, Colo., and Manhattan, Kan., said Anowar Islam, University of Wyoming Extension forage specialist.

The field studies are part of a $250,000 USDA grant Islam received. Collaborators include forage specialist Joe Brummer of Colorado State University and forage management assistant professor Doo-Hong Min at Kansas State University.

Islam said the benefits could be extensive.

“Our potassium fertility management program will improve persistence of alfalfa stands through better nutrient management,” he said.

Scientists will focus on alfalfa growth, yield and quality by applying different levels of potassium under two cutting intervals. Potassium uptake data and forage quality of selected alfalfa cultivars (low lignin vs. conventional) at different stages will be collected.

Information will be disseminated through a planned regional alfalfa workshop with state-specific results through local extension programs and by articles and bulletins.

Islam said the information will modify outdated central and western U.S. alfalfa soil fertility guides. The group will initiate an alfalfa community of practice within eXtension, a long-term venue of communicating the latest findings on alfalfa nationally and internationally.

Contact Islam at 307-766-4151 or mislam@uwyo.edu for more information.

State forage field day June 14 at Sheridan research center

Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam
Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam

Forage production and management and tools to help alfalfa and forage growers produce the best possible yield and quality are part of the Wyoming Forage Field Day Tuesday, June 14, at Sheridan.

The fifth-annual event is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sheridan Research and Extension Center (ShREC) at Sheridan College. Registration, encouraged by June 3 to ensure a free lunch, is free, and the event is open to the public.

University of Wyoming Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam said the event is farmer-focused, “especially for those who want alfalfa and improved forages in their cropping/animal production systems and improve yield, quality and profitability.”

Full program details are at bit.ly/forageday.

There are more than 13 presentations, ranging from 10 to 40 minutes. A panel of producers is in the afternoon and machinery and equipment demonstrations end the day.

Register by calling ShREC at 307-673-2856 or at shrec@uwyo.edu, or contact Islam at 307-766-4151 or mislam@uwyo.edu.

New guides address pests, beneficial insects in Wyoming alfalfa

AphidsTwo new publications from University of Wyoming Extension give growers a closer look at pests and beneficial insects affecting alfalfa crops.

Damage from insects includes seedling death, stunted growth, skeletonization and other leaf deformity. “Insects in Wyoming Alfalfa” is available online at bit.ly/insectsinalfalfa. “Aphids in Alfalfa” is available at bit.ly/aphidsinalfalfa.

 “Insects in Wyoming Alfalfa” is an easy-to-use guide to eight leaf chewers, sap suckers
and the blister beetle, whose toxin is poisonous when consumed by horses. It also includes beneficial insects and spiders that aid alfalfa crops by serving as pest predators and parasites and plant pollinators. The guide contains descriptions, photos and actual-sized silhouettes.  

Insects in wyoming“Aphids in Alfalfa” gives a more in-depth look at this common and sometimes serious pest, noted for piercing, sucking mouthparts, rapid reproduction and ability to reduce yields by several means. Two tables in this bulletin guide producers in counting aphids and beneficial lady beetles to determine if insecticide treatment may be necessary.

For more information, contact Randa Jabbour in the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Plant Sciences. She can be reached at 307-766-3439 or rjabbour@uwyo.edu.

Alfalfa U focuses on production decisions

Anowar islam during a forage tour.
Anowar Islam during a forage tour.

Information to help producers make production decisions and how alfalfa can contribute to an operation’s profitability is the focus of Alfalfa U Thursday, Feb. 25, in Loveland, Colo.

The event is 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Ranch at the Larimer County Fairgrounds, 5280 Arena Circle.

Anowar Islam, forage agroecologist with the University of Wyoming Extension, is a keynote speaker presenting “The Agronomy of Alfalfa.”

“I will cover seeds to weeds to pests to soils, and what are the tools that can help an alfalfa grower produce the best possible yield and quality,” said Islam.

Other presentations include:
* “Improved Digestion and Quality.”
* “Feed Value Matters.”
* “Hay in a Day.”
* “Managing Salinity in Alfalfa.”

“This will be a great farmer-focused event, especially for those who want alfalfa in their cropping/animal production systems and improve yield, quality and profitability,” said Islam.

Registration is free and open to all, and lunch is provided. For more information, visit www.hpj.com/alfalfau or contact Islam at 307-766-4151 or mislam@uwyo.edu.

UW bulletin highlights agriculture research across Wyoming

field daysTraditional and alternative farm crops, cattle, sheep and swine are among research projects covered in the fifth annual Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Field Days Bulletin.

The 2015 FDB also highlights vegetable and herb production, irrigation practices, fertilization, weed control and plant and livestock disease research.

“This bulletin contributes to our efforts to inform Wyoming citizens and others of the research being conducted at the four WAES research and extension centers, by members of the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and by others who have received funding from WAES,” said WAES director Bret Hess.

Approximately 90 one- and two-page articles summarize completed and in-progress research projects within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at the R&E centers near Laramie, Lingle, Powell and Sheridan, and at participating farms and ranches in Wyoming.

Continue reading UW bulletin highlights agriculture research across Wyoming