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ISSUE DATE: 06/01/2009

Improvements help alfalfa producers' performance soar

If the alfalfa producers from the early 1900s were to step into the shoes of a farmer in 2009, they would likely be completely lost. Technology, research and innovations in the alfalfa field have given today's farmers the upper hand.

Kent Martin, a crops and soils specialist at Kansas State University's Southwest Research and Extension Center, Garden City, Kan., said there are debates as to whether or not there have indeed been significant improvements in alfalfa in general.

"Most recognize that the crop improvements lag behind annual grain crop improvements. There are several reasons for this," Martin said. "First is that alfalfa is a perennial crop and thus improvements are related to survival and over wintering of the crop. This means it takes several years before evaluations and decisions can be made to improve alfalfa."

Martin also said disease and pest resistance has been a priority in many of the U.S. breeding programs rather than directly working on yield improvements.

"Another reason for the debate as to whether or not yields are increasing over time is because comparisons over time and locations have generally not considered stand life and diseases," Martin said. "When these factors are all evaluated carefully, it is clear that improvements have been made between 1940 and the present. In environments conducive to stand loss, multiple disease resistance in current cultivars shows a distinct advantage over older cultivars."


20 former Agriprocessors workers get visas
2009 organic initiative makes over $1.5 million available in Kansas as part of EQIP
Ag secretary discusses rural America
AgriLife Extension soil testing program wins environmental award
AgriLife Research farm manager part of Team Borlaug in Iraq
American Agri-Women gets grant to produce TV program
American Farmland Trust kicks off "America's Favorite Farmers Markets" contest"
Appeals court upholds sentence for twine theft
As other states pull back, Kansas accelerates innovation investments at bio international convention
Behind the menu price
Botulism assay quickly detects potent foodborne toxin
Carbon credits mean cash
Checkoff hones in on beef safety
Cooperative turns biomass into renewable energy
Dust speeding up runoff in Colorado streams, rivers
Farm machinery sales strong, dealers say
Fearneyhough named new director at Wyoming Ag Department
Federal Reserve: Agricultural credit tightened
Hapes honored with two advising awards
Her job drives her buggy
Improvements help alfalfa producers' performance soar
Iowa State helps Department of Natural Resources research jackrabbits
K-State honors Outstanding Alumni and Service award recipients
NMSU interdisciplinary grant brings chemistry and geology departments together
NRCS extends sign-up for organic farming, ranching
Obama administration pledges $50M for organics
Planting underway, USDA surveys crop acreage and stocks
Remembering the tough times
Robert Tigner new extension educator in Southwest Four
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union awards scholarships to nine outstanding applicants
Senator Roberts urges preparedness, not panic with flu situation
Stenholm meets with Dean's Council
Studies reveal how plants protect us from disease
Summer courses, scholarships offered for teacher courses
Texas House recognizes AgriLife Extension's Yolanda Morado


Corn growers urge farmers to support ethanol waiver request immediately
Corn irritant keeps pheasants away
Ellis County Wheat Plot Tour June 2
Farmers asked not to panic over rains
German court keeps ban on Monsanto corn
HPWD observation wells indicate average annual change in some groundwater levels during 2008
Landowners face decisions on conservation lands
Lane County Wheat Tour coming up
Many Kansas harvesters not going to Oklahoma, Texas
Markey Wheat Tour scheduled for May 27
More on delayed corn planting
New phorid fly species turns red imported fire ants into 'zombies'
Oklahoma flood control dams saved state over $20 million during during recent heavy rains
Texas Wheat Board funds record-setting research budget
Texas wine-industry research symposium to be held in Granbury
Third Volume of Plant Disease Management Reports published
Weather key in treating wheat diseases
Wet soil can lead to nitrogen loss in farm fields
Wheat disease observations from plant pathologist
Wheat nears vulnerable stage for fusarium head blight infections


Approach to research speeds knowledge of feeding corn co-products to cattle
BIF holds 41st Research Symposium and Annual Meeting
CSU Extension Beef Feedlot Field Day June 19
Food supplements that fortify fowl
Global milk glut squeezes dairy farmers, consumers
Lloyd honored with 2009 BIF Continuing Service Award
May is Beef Month
Multi-state marketman reaches a lifetime goal
National Western implements Junior Livestock Show changes for 2010
NCBA urges administration to uphold fair and science-based trade policies
NCBA: U.S., EU take first step in resolving 20-year beef trade dispute
Nebraska rancher now facing 149 animal cruelty counts
New brucellosis testing to begin May 22 in Montana
New Zealand dairy farmers facing cut in milk payments
NMPF to form strategic planning task force to examine solutions to dairy challenges
Ranch meant for migrating bison unused
Ranchers tell USDA why they oppose animal ID plan
Show-Me-Select fall-calving heifers sell for average of $1,231 at Carthage, Mo.
Starr selected as AHA junior activities intern
Two industry leaders inducted into Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame
UNL Extension Youth Animal Science Field Day
UW, state speak up to keep federal livestock lab
Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust protects 1,800 acres
Youth takes ranching way of life to urban students


Please, bankers, no repeat of the 1980s
Recent stories regarding the NAIS cost-benefit analysis generated these comments:


EPA approves label update for Laudis herbicide
History is the reason
Just a scoop full
McHay hay products
New delivery box handles distiller's grains
Plans can change
Sukup Bucket Elevators
The Flint Hills of Kansas


Aberdeen cattle sales report
Above average temps help crops emerge
Ada livestock sales report
Amarillo livestock sales
Apache livestock auction report
Arkansas livestock auction summary
Clovis livestock auction report
Colorado cattle sales report
Corn beginning to emerge
Dalhart livestock sales report
Dodge City Livestock sales report
Farm work progresses with break in rain
Georgia cattle auction summary
Grain market close
Hay trading slow in some areas
Moisture helping crops improve
Most classes holding steady
Nearly all corn has been planted
North Arkansas livestock auction report
OKC West livestock auction report
Planting progress aided by warm, dry weather
Pratt 3 p.m. cattle sales
Pratt cattle sales report
Precip helps crops improve
Presho cattle sales report
Salina cattle sales report
Sioux Falls sheep sales report
South Central direct sheep
Soybeans end day higher
Springfield livestock auction report
St. Joseph feeder pigs
Sunny conditions return
Texhoma cattle sales report
Warm, windy weather keeps farmers busy
West Plains cattle sales
Wheat continues to mature
Woodward livestock auction report
Wyobraska cattle sales report


Alfalfa aphids in northeast Colorado
Appeals court rules against Wyoming ranchers
Deadline approaching for inclusion in annual hay directory
Fort Reno Agricultural Research Station hosts 58th National Land and Range Judging Contest
Grassland Reserve Program application cutoff date announced
Grazing contract goes to NM researchers, Pueblo
Producers have several options for spring musk thistle control
Start scouting for alfalfa weevil now


"May is egg month" in Nebraska
4-H holds Clover Bud fun-day for youngsters
Cherokee FFA students represent school at events
Developing a war plan in the battle against termites
Family safety
Firewood campaign encourages "Burn It Where You Buy It"
Food safety after a flood
Going green is the focus of this year's Summer GardenFest at OSU
Hands-on quality assurance training scheduled
Jessup joins Texas AgriLife Research turfgrass program
Know your credit
Landowner tips for managing wild turkeys in Oklahoma
McKinney, AgriLife Research and Extension to unveil demonstration gardens
Model good financial behavior to your child
Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame announces 2009 Legacy Award inductions
Morris FFA holds banquet
Mosquito tips
Ol' Buck
Phillips County 4-Her plans gymkhana for diabetes
Potato salad and stew have a lot in common
Ringwood FFA members excel at State Convention
Tom Hicks sells Mesquite Rodeo
UW CES urges homeowners to be cautious when hiring tree services
Vesta makes life easier
Volunteer: Take ownership of a cause to improve community

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