March 14, 2019

Alfalfa Checkoff Funds Eight Research Projects
Research Funding, Safety Net the Focus of 9th Annual DC Fly-In
NAFA Gives Pollinator Presentation to EPA Officials
Senator Jerry Moran Earns NAFA's Outstanding Service Award
NAFA President Presents at Western Alfalfa Seed Growers, MFA, and IEFAC Winter Meetings
Managing Alfalfa Fields When Cold, Wet, and Freezing Occurs, Plus More!
Alfalfa Winterkill/Winter Injury? What to Look for This Spring
CHECKOFF/AFRP/APRI Research Summaries
"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!
NAFA Members/Affiliates
Contact Us
NAFA Website
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Alfalfa Checkoff Funds Eight Research Projects

Alfalfa farmers who have purchased alfalfa seed from participating marketers have provided funding for eight new Alfalfa Checkoff research projects. The U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative (USAFRI), better known as the Alfalfa Checkoff, recently awarded the fourth round of funding to projects submitted by researchers from a diverse collection of geographic areas of the country.

“The Alfalfa Checkoff gains momentum with each new round of funding, and continues to a valuable asset to the industry,” said Beth Nelson, NAFA President. “The Checkoff is funding important alfalfa research that we believe will have the greatest impact within the alfalfa community.” Click here for the complete article.

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Research Funding, Safety Net the Focus of 9th Annual DC Fly-In

A greater investment in public research devoted to alfalfa and legitimate risk management tools that provide a safety net for alfalfa farmers were the focus of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance’s 9th Annual DC Fly-In held February 4-7. With more than 100 agency and Capitol Hill meetings scheduled over the three-day event, NAFA representatives met with lawmakers to stress the importance of increased funding for alfalfa research at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), as well as increased funding for the Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage Systems Research Program (AFRP) administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Current support within USDA for alfalfa research pales in comparison to major program crops despite the fact that alfalfa is the nation’s 3rd most valuable field crop. Click here for the complete article.

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NAFA Gives Pollinator Presentation to EPA Officials

NAFA members continued their customary practice of meeting with EPA officials on its recent DC Fly-In. This time, however, NAFA was invited to give a formal presentation to EPA about the importance of pollinators to the alfalfa seed industry. Washington State University entomologist Doug Walsh and alfalfa seed farmer Tim Wagoner demonstrated to EPA officials how alfalfa seed is produced, the kinds of pollinators alfalfa seed farmers use, and the great lengths to which alfalfa seed farmers go to protect, maintain, and enhance their pollinators.


Alkali and leafcutter bees are the pollinators primarily used by alfalfa seed farmers to pollinate their crop and farmers are diligent in making sure they are well-cared-for. While crop protection tools are necessary to ward off harmful pests, bee safety is a top priority for alfalfa seed farmers.


The meeting gave NAFA’s alfalfa seed farmer representatives the opportunity to demonstrate to EPA the lengths to which they go to ensure the safety of their bees and discuss integrated pest management activities and access to critical crop protection tools, all essential components of successful alfalfa seed production. Alfalfa seed farmers have worked for years to develop effective integrated pest management plans and other tools to protect bees and used this opportunity with EPA to discuss those activities.


For many years, the partnerships between EPA, NAFA, State Departments of Agriculture, and alfalfa seed farmers have allowed for the growth and prosperity of the alfalfa seed industry, while at the same time have protected essential and sensitive bees which are critical to the successful production of alfalfa seed. Continuing to cultivate and enhance this relationship is an ongoing priority for NAFA.

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Senator Jerry Moran Earns NAFA's Outstanding Service Award

For his efforts in securing $2 million in research funding for alfalfa at USDA's Agricultural Research Service, continued funding for the Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage Systems Research Program (AFRP), and for his unwavering support for the nation’s alfalfa seed and alfalfa forage farmers, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) was awarded NAFA’s 2019 Outstanding Service Award. The award recognizes and rewards significant contributions to the alfalfa industry (Sen. Moran shown here with NAFA Director Darrin Unruh).


Senator Moran was presented with the award during his visit with a contingent of NAFA representatives during NAFA's 9th Annual DC Fly-In.

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NAFA President Presents at Western Alfalfa Seed Growers, MFA, and IEFAC Winter Meetings

NAFA President Beth Nelson continued her winter meeting presentation schedule with NAFA updates at the Western Alfalfa Seed Growers Association meeting held January 27-29 in New Orleans, LA, and the Midwest Forage Association and Industry Extension Forage Advisory Council (IEFAC) meetings held February 18 in Wisconsin Dells, WI (in conjunction with the Midwest Forage Association's Symposium). Nelson gave an update of the organization's activities over the course of the past year including progress on NAFA's legislative priorities in Washington, DC, projects funded through NAFA's alfalfa checkoff, and a resurgence in participation in NAFA's popular Alfalfa Intensive Training Seminar (AITS).


“Keeping our affiliates informed of NAFA activities is such an important component to our effectiveness as an organization,” said Nelson. “We want to make sure our affiliates understand what we're trying to accomplish and get their feedback on any new initiatives the industry should be working on.”

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Managing Alfalfa Fields When Cold, Wet, and Freezing Occurs, Plus More!
Michael Weiss, Bayer Agronomic Information Specialist

Black stem, heaving, sulfur, and weevils is not the name of a new punk band. As spring arrives, these are some of the things that can impact your alfalfa crop. Soil heaving occurs almost every year somewhere in the Midwest, the alfalfa weevil is the most common early-season insect pest in the Midwest, and spring black stem and leaf spot can have a significant impact on yield and quality. Click here for the complete article.

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Alfalfa Winterkill/Winter Injury? What to Look for This Spring
Dr. Donald R. Miller, Director of Prod. Dev., Alforex Seeds

The winter of 2018-2019 has been quite severe in many parts of the country with some states seeing record snowfall and cold temperatures. With these extreme winter conditions, many alfalfa producers are asking the question, will my alfalfa fields winterkill or have significant winter injury? Click here for the complete article.

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CHECKOFF/AFRP/APRI Research Summaries

Through hard work and persistence, NAFA has secured funding for two public research programs: 1) the Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage Systems Research Program (AFRP); and 2) the Alfalfa Pollinator Research Initiative (APRI). Additionally, NAFA has created its own research program, the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative, better known as the Alfalfa Checkoff.

NAFA News will feature both progress and final reports from these research programs to keep you informed of research in these areas. Click on the project title to access the full report.

Maximizing Alfalfa's Yield Potential - Brummer, University of California-Davis

"Alfalfa yield has changed little over the past 25 years, but improving yield is essential if alfalfa will remain in crop rotations, and ultimately dairy or livestock rations, and not be displaced by other crops, such as corn silage. Improving yields through breeding could be facilitated by some combination of improved selection methodology, use of new, unexplored germplasm, and the deployment of sensors to enable routine indirect estimation of yield in breeding trials. In the experiments described here, we address all three routes."

All CHECKOFF/AFRP/APRI final reports and current project objectives can be found on NAFA's website at in a convenient searchable database.

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"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!

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Thanks to our Members!
Visit Member websites by clicking on underlined names.
DIAMOND - $20,000+
Alforex Seeds
Bayer Crop Science
Forage Genetics International
S&W Seed
PLATINUM - $10,000 - $19,999
America's Alfalfa
California Alfalfa Seed Production Research Board
CROPLAN By Winfield United

Hay & Forage Grower
Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Commission
Washington Alfalfa Seed Commission
W-L Alfalfas
GOLD - $5,000 - $9,999
John Deere
Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee
Summit Seed Coatings
Western Ag Enterprises

Wyoming Alfalfa Seed Council
SILVER - $1,500 - $4,999
California Alfalfa & Forage Association
Idaho Hay & Forage Association
JR Simplot
Kansas Forage & Grassland Council
MacDon Industries Ltd.
Midwest Forage Association
Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association
Nelson Irrigation Corporation
Utah Farm Bureau Hay Committee
Washington State Hay Growers Association

ASSOCIATE - $500 - $1,499
Acceleron BioAg
American Seed Trade Association
Anderson Hay & Grain
Harvest Tec
HayDay Farms
Jones Twine & Net Wrap
Jordan Ag Supply
K-F Seeds
Michigan Forage Council
Nevada Alfalfa Seed Commission
New Mexico Hay Association
Noble Research Institute
Oregon Hay & Forage Association
San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers Association
Valley Irrigation
National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance - 4630 Churchill St #1 - St. Paul, MN 55126
651-484-3888 - -
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