May 19, 2022

NAFA's Alfalfa Checkoff Now Accepting Proposals
Evaluating Forage Options in Dry Conditions
Calling All Researchers! ASAFS Request for Applications Open
EPA Announces New Tolerance for Flonicamid
NAFA Welcomes New Member - The
Gombos Company
No Alfalfa is Created Equal, So Analyzing Forage Quality is Paramount
Deborah Samac Honored with USDA-ARS
Leadership Award
CHECKOFF/ASAFS/APRI Research Summaries
"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!
NAFA Members/Affiliates
Contact Us
NAFA Website
Return to top

NAFA's Alfalfa Checkoff Now Accepting Proposals

The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance's U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative, better known as the Alfalfa Checkoff, is now accepting proposals. Proposals are due no later than Wednesday, June 15, and are capped at $100,000.

Once proposals are received, a NAFA board-appointed review panel will review, score, and discuss proposals to determine which will receive approval for this round of funding. Proposals will be reviewed and selected by the NAFA board of directors or their designees. Criteria for determining which projects will be funded include, but are not limited to: 1) industry need; 2) cost effectiveness; and 3) partnership.


Priorities for this round of funding include: feed value consistency (i.e., harvest, storage, digestibility, sampling); forage quality improvements; new uses and market development; yield improvements; and NAFA Publications updates (i.e., Alfalfa Analyst and Alfalfa Germination and Growth). Preference will be given to projects which include support letters from industry.


For more information and a full copy of the 2022 request for proposals, click here.

Return to top

Evaluating Forage Options in Dry Conditions
Robin Newell, S&W Seed Company

Hay is in short supply in areas that were hit with drought last growing season, and many of those same areas are short on soil moisture going into the planting season. Hay stocks have tightened up to the point where most geographies in the U.S. are experiencing some level of increased hay and forage prices, often with longer hauls when purchasing hay. The situation is forcing farmers in affected areas to evaluate all their options for forage production. Click here for the complete article.

Return to top

Calling All Researchers! ASAFS Request for Applications Open

Alfalfa researchers are urgently asked to complete requests for applications (RFAs) for the Alfalfa Seed and Alfalfa Forage Systems (ASAFS) Research Program. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has released the FY 2022 ASAFS RFA with a deadline of 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, June 2. It is anticipated NIFA will have $3,000,000 in available funding with a maximum award of $300,000 per year for a maximum of 3 years.

Applications must be submitted to, using the funding opportunity number USDA-NIFA-OP-009108. “We strongly encourage all alfalfa researchers to consider submitting proposals to the ASAFS grant program,” said Beth Nelson, NAFA President. “Doing so demonstrates the strong demand for these funds nationwide and supports our efforts to maintain and enhance funding for the program in future years.” Click here for the complete article.

Return to top

EPA Announces New Tolerance for Flonicamid

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it has amended "the existing tolerance for residues of flonicamid, including its metabolites and deradates, in or on alfalfa, hay, by increasing the current tolerance from 1.0 ppm to 7 ppm" effective May 19, 2022. Flonicamid is better known by its trade name Beleaf.

Return to top

NAFA Welcomes New Member - The
Gombos Company

NAFA is pleased to welcome a new member into the NAFA family with the addition of The Gombos Company. The Gombos Company joins NAFA as an Associate member in the Class V Allied Industries category.

The Gombos Company is a Bakersfield, CA-based exporter of hay products including alfalfa, Timothy, rye, grass, and straw. Their core export product is 'sun-cured alfalfa hay' grown in the Western United States.

The Gombos family legacy began in 1927, when Nicholas 'Nick' Gombos migrated to the United States from Greece and eventually started a trucking company called Special Service Transportation. Nick's son Michael eventually took over the family business and started Diversified Transport Systems in 1948. One of its subsidiaries, Golden West Transport (GWT), became a major agriculture commodity carrier for almonds, carrots, tomatoes, and hay in greater Kern County and San Joaquin Valley.

In 1978, the family started Allied Commodities Xchange, also known as ACX, and over the next 30 years focused on exporting alfalfa and hay cubes to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and the Middle East. ACX became the largest processor in the world until it was sold in 2015. Now in their fourth generation of family business and third generation of alfalfa exports, The Gombos Company continues as an industry leader in U.S. alfalfa exports.

NAFA is pleased to add The Gombos Company to its long list of distinguished members. If you are aware of any other organizations who are not currently a NAFA member but should be, please contact NAFA at

Return to top

No Alfalfa is Created Equal, So Analyzing Forage Quality is Paramount
Emily Meccage, PhD., Technical Support Specialist, Forage Genetics International

Due to a litany of factors, not limited to varietal selections and environmental conditions, alfalfa forage quality always differs. Alfalfa grades will vary even within the same stand, so it’s essential to constantly test forage quality so you have a good grasp on what you’re feeding your animals.

Whether producing alfalfa for your own operation or as a cash crop, analyzing forage quality provides a valuable indicator of animal performance. Forages are the base for most animal rations and dietary requirements differ significantly among dairy cows, beef cattle, and horses. Therefore, the forage quality that best fits one production category isn’t necessarily ideal for another. That’s why getting an accurate read on forage quality is critical. Click here for the complete article.

Return to top
Deborah Samac Honored with USDA-ARS
Leadership Award

Alberto Pantoja, Director of the Midwest Area of USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), recently announced the recipients of its 2022 Midwest Area Employee Recognition Program which rewards ARS associates for their outstanding contributions to the Midwest Area. Deborah Samac, NAFA Ex Officio Board member and Research Leader/Director of the St. Paul Plant Science Research Unit, was awarded the Research Leadership and Center Directorship Award for her "vision and leadership building collaborative teams within the Plant Science Research Unit and leadership in developing genomic tools for alfalfa improvement."

In addition to her responsibilities as Research Leader and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota, Debby continues her research as well, focusing on the pathogens causing disease in alfalfa, strategies to reduce damage from diseases, and using molecular markers to map resistance genes and to accelerate developing resistant germplasm. Dr. Samac earned a Ph.D. in a Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Biology from Colorado College. Congratulations Debby!

Return to top
CHECKOFF/ASAFS/APRI Research Summaries  

Side-by-Side Evaluation of Preservation Alternatives for Alfalfa Hays - Wayne Coblentz, USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center

"Alfalfa forages are important components of diets for lactating dairy cows and other livestock; however, climatic conditions in the eastern United States often are unsuitable for drying alfalfa or alfalfa-grass mixtures adequately for storage as dry hay. Inadequate desiccation prior to baling dry hays results in respiration of sugars into CO2, water, and heat in a process referred to commonly as spontaneous heating. In severe cases, this process can further lead to spontaneous combustion causing losses of barns and hay inventories. A generation ago, the general rule-of-thumb for satisfactory storage of small, <45-kg (100-lb) bales handled manually was a moisture threshold of about 20%."

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

Return to top

Return to top

"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!

Return to top
Thanks to our Members!
Visit Member websites by clicking on underlined names.
DIAMOND - $20,000+
Corteva Agriscience
Forage Genetics International
Legacy Seeds
S&W Seed
PLATINUM - $10,000 - $19,999
Alforex Seeds
America's Alfalfa
Bayer Crop Science

Hay & Forage Grower
W-L Alfalfas
GOLD - $5,000 - $9,999
Alfalfa Partners - a brand of S&W Seed Co.
California Alfalfa Seed Production Research Board
John Deere
Summit Seed Coatings
Western Ag Enterprises

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

ASSOCIATE - $500 - $1,499
Anderson Hay & Grain
HayDay Farms
Jones Twine & Net Wrap
Jordan Ag Supply
Michigan Forage Council
Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee
New Mexico Hay Association
Oregon Hay & Forage Association
San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers Association
The Gombos Company
National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance - 4630 Churchill St #1 - St. Paul, MN 55126
651-484-3888 - -
Return to top