Roundup Ready alfalfa doesn't have to be a threat to organic and conventional alfalfa, said several speakers at a conference in Denver, CO, last week. The conference, "Peaceful Coexistence: Creating a Strategy for Harmony Among GM, Organic and Conventional Alfalfa Producers," was sponsored by the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance (NAFA). Its purpose, said NAFA president Beth Nelson, was to bring together various "stakeholders" to develop a plan that will help growers of the three types of alfalfa coexist after the Roundup Ready alfalfa ban is lifted.

The greatest risk that Roundup Ready alfalfa will contaminate other alfalfa is during seed production, said speakers and other attendees. They asked for better communication among seed companies regarding the location of Roundup Ready seed fields, and sufficient isolation of those fields from organic and conventional fields. One speaker said transgenic and non-transgenic alfalfa hay should continue to be separated and identified after Roundup Ready alfalfa is deregulated.

Watch for more on the conference in the November issue of Hay & Forage Grower.