With Internet usage spreading like a wildfire on a hot day, the number of Web sites available to help alfalfa growers manage their crops is growing.

Information on using the Internet as a resource for identifying insects, diseases and weeds in alfalfa was offered at the recent National Alfalfa Symposium in Las Vegas. The presenters: Carol Frate and Pam Medina, with the University of California Cooperative Extension, and Donald Miller, an alfalfa breeder with ABI Alfalfa, Nampa, ID.

The experts stress that it's important to remember that months when pests are active, economic thresholds, management recommendations and available pesticides may vary from state to state. Consider these differences when gathering information from another state.

Here are a few sites that provide information on alfalfa pests: - The University of California's Integrated Pest Manage-ment Guidelines (www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/select newpest.alfalfa-hay.html). This site lists information and photos on insects, weeds and nematodes, but not diseases.

- The University of Kentucky's IPM Scout Information Sheets (www.uky.edu/Agriculture/IPM/scoutinfo/scout.htm). This site offers insect, weed and disease information.

- University of Nebraska-Lin-coln publications index (www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/browse.htm). This site links to publications that contain disease, insect and weed information.

- Montana State University's High Plains Integrated Pest Management Guide (Scarab.msu.montana.edu/HPIPM/). The guide was compiled in cooperation with the Universities of Neb-raska, Colorado and Wyoming.

- Texas A&M University's Field Guide to Common Texas Insects (entowww.tamu.edu/images/insects/fieldguide/index.html). This site's photo gallery is of common insects of Texas.

- Texas A&M's disease identification site (Cygnus.tamu. edu/Texlab/Forage/Alfalfa/asctop.html). This site has photos of common diseases in alfalfa and sweet clover.

- Weed Science Society of America site (ext.agn.uiuc.edu/wssa). The Weed Science Society of America site contains photos of many common weeds.

On occasion, Web sites with long addresses may return a message that the address can't be found. If that happens, try shortening the address. For example, University of California's guidelines for alfalfa (www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnew pest.alfalfa-hay.html.) If this address doesn't work, type in www.ipm.ucdavis.edu and make selections that will eventually bring up the specific page for alfalfa.