Dan Putnam

Extension forage specialist,
University of California Extension

Dan Putnam is currently the University of California Cooperative Extension specialist in forage crops located at Davis. He consults regularly with farmers in California and in many countries.

Raised in southern Ohio, he holds a doctorate in plant and soil sciences from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, as well as a bachelor's of science in agronomy from Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH.

Putnam is the chair of the Western and California Alfalfa Symposia, held each year.  His current research interests include alfalfa cultivar interactions with agronomic practices, irrigation practices, economics of cutting schedules and yield-quality tradeoffs in alfalfa, forage-quality analysis methods, irrigation techniques, alternative forage crops and interactions of alfalfa and the environment.

Deficit-Irrigating Alfalfa
By utilizing deficit irrigation during drought, alfalfa growers may be able to get through periods of low water while still producing a portion of full yields.
Does Hydroponic Forage Production Make Sense? 3
Hydroponic forage systems may look good at first, but yield, quality and costs don't favor them.
Don’t Abuse That Hay Test!
Ever have a hay sale go bust because your forage analysis didn’t come back with the same results as the buyer’s? Ever have a high-testing hay not “milk” as expected? You’re not alone. Arguments over the consistency of hay tests are as common as rain on your first cut or maybe even cheesehead hats at a Packers game. It’s a part of the hay-trade landscape.
What Corn Silage Contests Reveal
Forage contests are beauty contests. They make you appreciate high-test forages but don’t tell the whole story: for example, whether the crop yielded well, the farmer had lodging problems, or whether it produced a lot of milk.
Can GE And Non-GE Alfalfas Coexist?
Those of us who work with alfalfa have seen our much-loved Queen of Forages relegated to poster child of all things evil about genetic engineering (GE) and the supposed damage it may wreak. While hay growers have always felt alfalfa has received insufficient attention – this was probably not what they had in mind

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