The aim of the Dec. 2-4 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference: To help alfalfa producers improve profitability. Besides a grower panel on how to market hay in a low-price year, speakers will discuss ways to reduce inputs to improve profits — and whether that's a good idea, how to adapt cutting management to market conditions and how to survive difficult times.

The traditionally well-attended conference will also include sessions on alfalfa industry and market trends, pest management in alfalfa, soils and irrigation, bio-energy and alternative forages, water issues and innovations and future developments.

University and industry experts from Arizona, California, Idaho, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin will speak.

This year, in place of its traditional bus tour, the conference will offer, on Dec. 2, a half-day Hands-On Diagnostic Workshop covering soil fertility, weeds, insects, diseases and nematodes. Preregistration and a fee of $50/person are required for the workshop in addition to the general registration of $125/person. Registration is due by Nov. 2.

This comprehensive conference also will feature a commercial exhibit area with 60-80 exhibits. It will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV.

To register for the conference, visit alfalfa.ucdavis.edu, call Karen Nephew at 559-259-4907 or email sznephew@plantsciences.ucdavis.edu. Hotel reservations can be made through links from the above Web site or by calling 800-648-5080.