Wyoming Hay and Forage Association hosts winter seminar series on alfalfa pests

Photograph of man holding microphone
Goshen County extension educator Caleb Carter

Alfalfa weevil management considerations and research updates and the biology and management of blister beetles are among topics during a series of winter meetings by the Wyoming Hay and Forage Association and hosted by the University of Wyoming Extension.

The series begins in Powell Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Powell Research and Extension Center, followed by the seminar in Casper Feb. 26 at the Agricultural Resource and Learning Center. Sessions at both locations are noon to 3 p.m.  Lunch will be provided at both, and cost to attend is $20. Association members are free.

The series will wrap up in Torrington Feb. 27 as part of the Brown Company Customer Appreciation Day. Brown Company will have vendors available in the morning, with a free lunch at noon. The seminar will follow from 1-4 p.m. This seminar is free for all attendees.

Alfalfa weevils are becoming more and more of a problem as traditional control measures have become less effective over time, said Caleb Carter, extension educator in Goshen County.  Current and ongoing research from UW will be offered.

“Blister beetles have also been making the news lately as hay from Wyoming was claimed to be responsible in the deaths of several horses in Wisconsin recently,” he said. “Come learn more about the biology of this pest and what steps you can take to ensure it stays out of your hay crop.”

Randa Jabbour, associate professor in the plant sciences department at UW, will discuss her past and ongoing alfalfa weevil research in Wyoming. UW Extension entomology specialist Scott Schell will discuss an alfalfa weevil degree day calculator he has been a part of developing and how that might help producers time applications better. He will also outline the biology of the blister beetle and appropriate steps to keep this pest from contaminating a hay crop.

In Powell and Casper, Kevin Hefley, owner of Airtime Aerial in Pine Bluffs, will talk about his experience in treating alfalfa weevil and what trends he is seeing.

In Torrington, along with Jabbour and Scott, Dan Keener, Westco agronomist out of Scottsbluff, Neb., will discuss his perspective and observations, including the differences observed between varieties of alfalfa in the amount of pressure they are seeing. CROPLAN representatives Mick Miller and Adam Daggs will also be on hand in Torrington to answer questions and share their perspectives on the alfalfa weevil situation.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Toby Skinner, Wyoming Hay and Forage Association executive director, with name and location, at 307-575-0412 or info@wyhay.com.

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