Source: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS submitted to
AGRONOMIC PRACTICES AFFECTING YIELD, FORAGE QUALITY, AND SUSTAINABILITY OF IRRIGATED FORAGE AND BIOFUEL CROPS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
REVISED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0177959
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
CA-D-XXX-6423-H
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2012
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2017
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Putnam, D. H.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
410 MRAK HALL
DAVIS,CA 95616-8671
Performing Department
Interdepartmental
Non Technical Summary
Situation: Alfalfa is a major water user in western states and the largest agricultural water user in California. Strategies which allow temporary suspension of irrigation for alfalfa will allow voluntary water transfers in drought years. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to discover agronomic methods which improve the Water-Use-Efficiency and salinity tolerance of alfalfa, reduce waste, improve water quality, and enable irrigated alfalfa and forage production to be sustained during periods of water deficits. Techniques such as buried drip irrigation and field screening of varieties are used. Situation: Alfalfa is high in protein, but this protein is not generally well utilized by ruminants, reducing feed efficiency and causing environmental risk by excess N in dairy wastes. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to discover the way in which transgenic alfalfa plants containing genes for hydrolysable tannins and polyphenol oxidase, or alternatively the use of walnut hull extracts may impact the protein metabolism of ruminants, thereby lessening environmental impacts. Situation: Growers are continually faced with choice of alfalfa variety, which have a large impact upon crop profitability, pest management, and quality of harvest. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to provide independent field evaluation of newly-introduced varieties of alfalfa, many with new and novel traits such as low lignin, pest resistance, or improved yields. Situation: New crops have the potential to improve profitability and create new opportunities for agricultural businesses, including the opportunities for growing cellulosic biofuels. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to test, adapt, and evaluate the yield, quality, and environmental and economic viability of newly-introduced forage and cellulosic crop species, including corn, sorghum as silage crops and those potentially used as biofuels such as switchgrass and Miscanthus. Situation: Evaluation of forage quality is often as important as evaluation of the yield of a forage crop. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to improve methodology for laboratory testing of forages.
Animal Health Component
80%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
10%
Applied
80%
Developmental
10%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2051640106030%
2051640108020%
1111640106020%
2041640108010%
2041630106010%
3021640101010%
Goals / Objectives
The objectives of this project are to discover and apply principles of forage crop management, directed towards optimizing the yield, forage quality and economic viability of alfalfa and forage crops, and to minimizing potential negative environmental effects and increase sustainability of forage crop production under irrigated conditions. Specific objectives are: 1) To discover methods to improved irrigation strategies for farmers to increase Water Use Efficiency and salinity tolerance of alfalfa and to contend with drought and water transfers, 2) To understand the influence of agronomic practices on profitability, quality, and yield of alfalfa, 3) To discover the applications of new varieties or novel genes to improve alfalfa yield, stress tolerance, forage quality and protein utilization, 4) to develop agronomic practices which will mitigate water quality impacts from alfalfa, 5) To test, evaluate, and develop new crop options for farmers, including alternative forage systems and biofuels crops.
Project Methods
Methodology used to address these objectives include field plot research, on-farm studies, greenhouse and laboratory methods. Field plot techniques include use of statistical designs with specific objectives. Methods include 1) On-farm studies utilizing the surface renewal and Eddy Co-variance instrumentation methods to measure evapotranspiration (ET) of alfalfa under well-watered and deficit conditions. This utilizes soil monitoring, atmospheric monitoring to model ET and measurement of yields and quality of these fields to determine agronomic impacts. Other on-farm studies include monitoring of soils and plant tissue to determine critical values for P and K management in alfalfa. 2) Experiment station studies examining the effects of drip irrigation, varieties, cutting schedules and agronomic practices on yield and quality of alfalfa. This utilizes standard field plot techniques (Randomized Complete Block Design), yield measurements, soil moisture monitoring, and laboratory forage measurements of ADF, NDF, CP, and in-vitro gas method. 3) Greenhouse studies on transgenic plants, along with analyitical work utilizing GC-Mass Spec, and in-vitro gas methods to measure the extent of ammonia generation in ruminant systems. 4) Utilization of mini-silos to determine influence of unique genes (PPO, tannin genes) on protein fate during ensiling fermentation. 5) Field trials on corn, sorghum, alternative forage crops and biofuels including switchgrass and Miscanthus to determine yield and growth response to nitrogen, other agronomic factors. 6) Laboratory methodology for determination of forage quality includes utilization of the Ankom nylon-bag technique for in-vitro analysis (gas method and NDFD), Acid Detergent Fiber, Neutral Detergent Fiber, and the use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to predict a range of quality attributes.

Progress 01/01/12 to 12/31/12

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This project addresses agronomic performance for alfalfa, including adaptation and testing of new varieties,introduction of new forages, biotech innovations, irrigation, and studies on the environmental and management issues associated with this sector. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) occupies nearly 1 million and forage crops nearly 2 million acres of the state's 8.5 million acres of irrigated farmland, and are the key forages for the $7 billion/year dairy industry. Field trials were conducted near Davis, Yreka, Lancaster, El Centro, Fresno, Five Points Modesto and Tulelake, CA. Objectives of field trials include variety adaptation and evaluation, sampling for nutrient management in alfalfa, rotation studies with alfalfa, examination of subsurface drip irrigation vs. other irrigation methods. A trial to examine organic stand establishment methods was conducted at Parlier, CA in 2012. Variety adaptation yield trails were conducted at 8 CA sites and harvested 3 through 10 times per year, and the results summarized and placed on our website. A trial to yield test salt-tolerant lines of alfalfa at West Side Field Station at Five Points, CA were subject to high EC water (EC above 5.0), was in its final year, and coordinated with campus-based greenhouse studies on salt effects on germination of varieties. These should enable farmers to utilize alfalfa on soils and with water sources with high EC with tolerant lines. Lab and greenhouse research on transgenic alfalfa at Davis with alfalfa plants containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for gallic acid-based polymers (tannins) and polyphenol oxidase to study the effects of these genes on the feeding of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) and Beet Armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) were conducted. We worked with Audubon Society and farmers to understand improved methods for wildlife habitat in alfalfa fields. We continued to work on the issue of "Coexistence" between Genetically-engineered alfalfa and organic or conventional alfalfa with grower groups. A major outreach effort was the 2012 Alfalfa and Grains Symposium, sponsored by Co-op Extension, with 550 attendees in Sacramento. New trials were established at Modesto, and Davis, CA in 2011. Field days were held at Davis, Tulelake, and Parlier to communicate research data to clientele. This research project is integrated with outreach and extension activities such as symposia, field days, popular press articles and websites. A major product of this project is the Alfalfa & Forage Website http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu which is one of the highest rated university sites in an alfalfa search on Google nationally. It contains information on production of alfalfa, a database of 45 years of the CA and Western Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings on-line and a complete display of all of the variety trial results from California's 8 site trials. The "Irrigated Alfalfa Production", a complete production manual for Mediterranean and Desert Zones is completely displayed, downloadable chapters, and highly visited. In 2012, we started a blog, "Alfalfa & Forage News" http://ucanr.edu/blogs/alfalfa/ to disseminate up to date information on alfalfa and forage crops. PARTICIPANTS: Participants: Daniel H. Putnam, PhD, is the PI. He is Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.dhputnam@ucdavis.edu. This is only individual funded through this project. Collaborators funded through other sources include Craig Giannini (SRA, Davis), Chris DeBen (SRA, Davis), Steve Orloff (UCCE, Siskiyou County), Shannon Mueller (UCCE, Fresno County), Carol Frate (UCCE, Tulare Co.), Khaled Bali (UCCE, Imperial County), Abhaya Dandekar (UC Davis), and Tim Butterfield (UC Davis Grad Student). Partner organizations and collaborators include: faculty, staff, at UC Davis, county-based Farm Advisors through the University of California Cooperative Extension UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, CA Farm Bureau, Mendel Biosciences, US Seed Companies who work with alfalfa (approximately 12), California Crop Improvement Association, California Department of Food and Agriculture, farmers in California through the California Alfalfa & Forage Association, USDA-NRCS, USDA-ARS, National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance, Biomass Collaborative, Audubon Society. Training or Professional development: We have had 2 students associated with this project, and 1 grad student (Tim Butterfield), and 2 visiting scientists (Qi Hui, and Mohammad Akmal). TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project includes alfalfa growers, forage growers, dairy farmers, farm workers, Pest Control Advisors, seed companies, biofuel and forage businesses, regulatory agencies, members of the general public interested in the subject, fellow scientists and farm workers. Farmers include conventional, export, and organic farmers. We provide translations for the largely Spanish-speaking people who are working on alfalfa farms in California, a largely underserved group. There are a range of efforts expended to assure that the public is kept abreast of the work conducted under this CRIS. These outreach efforts are designed to cause a change in information, knowledge, understanding by interested members of the public. We routinely offer Spanish translations at our major meeting. This outreach effort is accomplished through a very active website (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu), field days, extension meetings, farm visits, and the Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, which was very well attended. The latter has a proceedings which is widely circulated and posted on the website PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: We are continually re-evaluating the direction of our project to focus more on water issues and forage quality issues over time.

Impacts
Measurement of outcomes and behavior changes is difficult since farmers and the public receive new information from many quarters and rarely report changes in practices in a manner that can be documented. The positive outcomes from our project are: 1.The positive responses to questions about usefulness and impact of field days, symposia, grower talks, and other activities. 2.Website visits (100,000 plus per year) documents interest in the information we provide. 3.This project has worked directly and interactively with growers on issues where we have had an impact. Our data has had an impact on the national debate on coexistence of genetically-engineered alfalfa with organic or other GE-sensitive growers. We provide much of the scientific content to the policy debate; sponsor public meetings vetting different viewpoints of the issue (organic, export, seed, conventional hay growers) to fully express their perspectives. We helped Imperial Valley growers make a decision NOT to grow GMO crops in the valley, based upon science and their market/production needs. We worked on water quality and the impacts of velpar (hexazinone), found in trace amounts in wells in the state. We worked with growers to document the importance of this herbicide, to help growers understand the impacts on water quality, to communicate published information on its use, and to testify to regulatory bodies in CA about the issue which was useful to the regulatory process. With 550 attending, over 90% of attendees rated our annual conference in 2012 Excellent or Outstanding. The variety evaluation program of this project also had impacts: In a historical review over 378 location/years, the potential dollar value of this difference is over $319,081/year, averaged over the 30 yrs. of testing (2009 dollars). The average yield difference due to variety in our trials was 6 Mg/ha/year, based upon an average trial yield of 19.9 Mg/ha/year. On an individual farm basis, we have calculated the potential yield differences due to variety research is worth $400-1200/acre for a 3 year period to farmers, due just to the changes in yield, not including other values, such as pest resistance, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. Our project on the measurement of Evapotranspiration (ET) in alfalfa fields over the past 6 years provides state regulators, water managers, and farmers with a significant new set of data on the water use of this important crop. Alfalfa is the #1 water user in CA. Our workshops in 2011-12 on wildlife and alfalfa, in cooperation with Audubon Society, has resulted in changed practices on farms to benefit bird habitat. Birds are a major user of alfalfa during the cropping season, and growers have modified their harvesting practices to favor bird nesting and feeding habitat. The PI on this project made 3 visits to China this year to assist in the standardization of forage quality guidelines for the 400,000 metric tons of alfalfa and hays that are being exported to that country This process is beginning to have an impact on the quality standard between the two countries.

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H. 2012 Strategies for the Improvement of Water-Use Efficient Irrigated Alfalfa Systems. In: Proceedings, California Alfalfa and Grain Symposium, 10-12 December 2012, Sacramento, CA. UCCE, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616 (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other proceedings.)
  • Putnam, D.H., S. Mueller, C. Frate, M. Canevari, and S. Orloff. 2012. Key Practices for Alfalfa Stand Establishment. IN Proceedings, California Alfalfa and Grain Symposium, 10-12 December 2012, Sacramento, CA. UCCE, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616 (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other proceedings.)
  • Frate, CA., S.C. Mueller, S.B. Orloff, and D.H. Putnam, 2012 Variety Selection-Choosing the Best for your Field. IN Proceedings, California Alfalfa and Grain Symposium, 10-12 December 2012, Sacramento, CA. UCCE, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616 (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other proceedings.)
  • Pedroso, G. R.B. Hutmacher, D.H. Putnam, J. Six, C. van Kessel, and B.A. Lindquist. 2012. Yield and Nitrogen management of irrigated switchgrass systems in diverse Ecoregions. Agronomy Journal (in Press)
  • Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam, 2012. Alfalfa Harvest Management Principles. IN Proceedings, California Alfalfa and Grain Symposium, 10-12 December 2012, Sacramento, CA. UCCE, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616 (See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for this and other proceedings.)
  • Putnam, D.H. 2011. What Needs to Change in our Hay Marketing System IN: Proceedings, 2011 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference. 11-13 Dec., 2011, Las Vegas, NV. Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. 7. Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam. 2011 Roundup Ready Alfalfa; What have we learned to date IN: Proceedings, 2011 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference. 11-13 Dec., 2011, Las Vegas, NV. Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.


Progress 01/01/11 to 12/31/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and forage crops occupy nearly 2 million acres of the state's 8.5 million acres of irrigated farmland, and are the key forages for the $6 billion/year dairy industry. This project addresses the critical issues of agronomic performance for alfalfa, including adaptation and testing of new varieties, the introduction of new forages, biotech innovations, irrigation, and studies on the environmental and management issues associated with this sector. We are also addressing the issues associated with cellulosic biofuels that may be used as dedicated energy crops. Field trials were conducted on farmer's fields near Woodland, Yreka, Lancaster, and Tulelake, CA to examine sampling methods and measurement of P and K concentrations in alfalfa, with the aim to improve nutrient management in alfalfa. Variety adaptation yield trails were conducted at 8 CA sites and harvested 3 through 10 times per year, and the results summarized and placed on our website, and presented at field days and the annual Alfalfa Symposium. New trials were established at Modesto, and at Davis, CA in 2011. A trial to yield test salt-tolerant lines of alfalfa at West Side Field Station at Five Points, CA (Fresno county) were subject to high EC water (EC above 5.0), and should enable farmers to utilize alfalfa on soils and with water sources with high EC with tolerant lines. Switchgrass yield trials were also continued in 2011. Research on transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for gallic acid-based polymers (tannins) and polyphenol oxidase to study the effects of these genes on the feeding of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) and Beet Armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) were conducted. A trial to examine organic stand establishment methods was initiated at Parlier, CA. Deficit irrigation treatments were imposed on a field study of Miscanthus (X giganteus and M. sinensis) and were harvested through 2011. We are also working closely with a private company on methods to produce seed from M. sinensis. We measured ET of alfalfa across California were reported to farmers and in journal articles, with measurements in El Centro and Tulelake, and Scott Valley. The Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium was held in Las Vegas, NV, December, 2011, with organizational participation from 9 western states and nearly 800 participants (PI is the chair). We worked closely with Audubon Society and farmers to understand improved methods for wildlife habitat in alfalfa fields. There were several important outreach efforts including a panel discussion on the issue of "Coexistence" between Genetically-engineered alfalfa and organic or conventional alfalfa, a series on forage quality, and a well attended field tour of Sandy Valley, Nevada. The proceedings from this event was published in a Proceedings and at: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu. Field days were held in Fresno County, Davis, and Tulelake, CA, with hundreds of participants each site. This research project is highly integrated with outreach and extension activities such as symposia, field days, popular press articles and websites. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals who worked on the project: Daniel H. Putnam, PI. Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. dhputnam@ucdavis.edu All others on this project are not on these funds. There are no funded individuals who work on this project other than the PI Partner organizations: University of California Cooperative Extension UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis CA Department of Water Resources CA Farm Bureau Ceres Biotechnology Mendel Biosciences US Seed Companies who work with alfalfa (approximately 12) California Crop Improvement Association California Alfalfa & Forage Association National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance Biomass Collaborative Audubon Society Collaborators and Contacts: Collaborators within the UC Davis include those in Soil Sciences, Irrigation Management, Animal Sciences, and UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors who are base in counties. This project works extensively with a wide range of individuals in the private sector who are developing innovative genetic and products that might have an impact on forages. Training or Professional development: Undergraduate interns, student employees, and Project Scientists, and graduate students are part of this project. We interact frequently with farmers and service individuals, and industry members. A graduate student, Tim Butterfield, is conducting the tannin-insect studies as a component of his PhD. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project includes alfalfa growers, forage growers, Pest Control Advisors, seed companies, biofuel and forage businesses, regulatory agencies, members of the general public, fellow scientists and farm workers. Farmers include conventional, export, and organic farmers. We provide translations for the largely Spanish-speaking people who are working on alfalfa farms in California, a largely underserved group. There are a range of efforts expended to assure that the public is kept abreast of the work conducted under this CRIS. These outreach efforts are designed to cause a change in information, knowledge, understanding by interested members of the public. This outreach effort is accomplished through a very active website (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu), field days, extension meetings, farm visits, and the Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, which was very well attended. The latter has a proceedings which is widely circulated and posted on the website. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
This project participated fully in the national debate on coexistence of genetically-engineered alfalfa with organic or other GE-sensitive growers, utilizing our own data and earlier published work to provide scientific content to the policy debate. Thus, when Roundup-Ready alfalfa was de-regulated in early 2011, our data and writings were cited in the deregulation documents. We covered this issue in depth at the Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference in 2011, allowing different viewpoints (organic, export, seed, conventional hay growers) to fully express their perspectives. This reached hundreds of growers (nearly 800) from many states directly, and thousands more through downloads from the symposium proceedings which is on-line and published (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). When asked how attendees rated the conference, over 90% rated it Excellent or Outstanding. The variety evaluation project has also had impacts: this program is the largest of any state for alfalfa (8 locations, up to 10 harvests per dataset per year). In a historical review of 113 UC alfalfa trials, over 378 location/years, average yield differences due to variety 30% of the trial mean. The potential dollar value of this difference is $319,081, averaged over the 30 years of testing (2009 dollars). The average yield difference due to variety was 6 Mg/ha/year, based upon an average trial yield of 19.9 Mg/ha/year. Farmers widely use this data to choose varieties, and seed companies frequently re-print our data to show the ranking of their high yielding varieties, and promote those lines which do well in university trials. This program has been useful and is applicable to other western states and countries such as Mexico and Argentina. On an individual farm basis, we have calculated that the potential yield differences due to variety research is worth $100-400/acre to farmers, due just to the changes in yield, not including other values, such as pest resistance, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. Our project on the measurement of Evapotranspiration (ET) in alfalfa fields over the past 6 years provides state regulators, water managers, and farmers with a significant new set of data on the water use of this important crop. The deficit irrigation calculations and field tests provide farmers with quantification of the impacts of deficit irrigation as a strategy, should water exchanges become viable during drought years. Our workshops on wildlife and alfalfa, conducted in 2011 in cooperation with Audubon Society, has resulted in changes in farmer practices to favor bird habitat on their alfalfa fields, including modification of cutting schedules and irrigation practices.

Publications

  • 14.D.H. Putnam and Colleagues. 2009-2011 California Alfalfa & Forage Systems Workgroup Webpage. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/ Subheadings on General Information, Stand Establishment, Varieties, Irrigation, Soil Fertility, Weeds, Insects, Vertebrate Pests, Diseases, Nematodes, Diagnosis, Harvesting, Quality, Economics, Biotech, Organic Production, Environmental Issues, Manures, Seed Production, and Grasses. 41 years of Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings database. Variety testing database
  • 1. Pedroso, G.M., C. DeBen, R.B. Hutmacher, S. Orloff, D.H. Putnam., J. Six, C. van Kessel, S. Wright and B. A. Linquist. 2011 Switchgrass is a Promising, High-yielding Crop for California Biofuel. California Agriculture 65 (4): E168-173.
  • 2. Hanson, B., S. Orloff, and D.H. Putnam. 2011 Drought Irrigation Strategies for Alfalfa. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8448. June, 2011.
  • 3. Hanson, B., S. Orloff, K. Bali, B. Sanden, and D.H. Putnam. 2011 Evapotranspiration of Alfalfa in Commercial Fields, California. Peer-reviewed Paper. Sixth International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage. 15-18, 2011 San Diego, CA. US Society for Irrigation and Drainage Professionals.
  • 4. Getachew, G., A.M. Ibanez, W. Pittroff, A.M. Dandekar, M. McCaslin, S. Goyal, P. Reisen, E.J. DePeters, and D.H. Putnam. 2011 A comparative study between lignin down regulated alfalfa lines and their respective unmodified controls on the nutritional characteristics of hay. Animal Feed Science and Technology www.elsevier.com/located/anifeedsci
  • 5. Lee, J., G. Pedroso, B.A. Lindquist, D.H. Putnam, C V. Kessel, and J. Six. 2011 Simulating switchgrass biomass production across ecoregions using the DAYCENT model. Global Change Biology Bioenergy
  • 6. Putnam, D.H. 2011What Needs to Change in our Hay Marketing System IN: Proceedings, 2011 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference. 11-13 Dec., 2011, Las Vegas, NV. Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. 7. Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam. 2011 Roundup Ready Alfalfa; What have we learned to date IN: Proceedings, 2011 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference. 11-13 Dec., 2011, Las Vegas, NV. Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • 8. D.H. Putnam and S. Orloff. 2011 Grower Attitudes about Roundup Ready Alfalfa: A survey. IN: Proceedings, 2011 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference. 11-13 Dec., 2011, Las Vegas, NV. Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. 9. D.H. Putnam and Colleagues. 2009-2011 Biotechnology and Roundup Ready Alfalfa. (website). http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/+producing/index.aspxcat=Biotechnology%20 and%20Roundup%20Ready%20Alfalfa
  • 10. S.B. Orloff, D.H. Putnam, C. Giannini, and C. DeBen. 2011 Comparison of Glyphosate Tolerant and Conventional Alfalfa Cultivars under Differing Herbicide Regimes. Agronomy Abstracts. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI. 8 October, 2011, San Antonio Texas
  • 11. D.H. Putnam, S. Mueller, S.B. Orloff, 2011 Principles for Coexistence between Genetically-Engineered and Conventional or Organic Alfalfa. Agronomy Abstracts. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI. 8 October, 2011, San Antonio Texas
  • 12.Putnam, D.H. 2011 Can GE and Non-GE Alfalfas Coexist Hay and Forage Grower Magazine. August, 2011.
  • 13. Putnam, D.H. 2011 University of California Switchgrass Statewide Evaluation Trial. Vegetables West. February, 2011.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and other hay and forages consist of the state's number one acreage acricultural sector. This project addresses the issues of adaptation of new varieties and genetic constructs of alfalfa, the introduction of new forages and biofuels that may be grown in California, and on the environmental issues and management practices associated with this sector (irrigation, gene flow, pesticides). A new study was initiated in 2010 which examines sampling methods and measurement of P and K concentrations in alfalfa plants, with the aim to improve nutrient management in alfalfa. Field trials were conducted on farmer's fields near Woodland, Yreka, and Tulelake, CA. Variety adaptation trails were conducted at 7 sites, crops which were harvested from 3 through 10 times/year. New trials were established at Fresno County, and at Tulelake, CA. A trial to yield test salt-tolerant lines of alfalfa is in its second year at West Side Field Station at Five Points, CA (Fresno county). These lines were subject to increasing EC water in 2010 (EC above 5.0), and enable farmers to utilize alfalfa on soils and with water sources with high EC with tolerant lines. Switchgrass yield trials utilizing 10 lines were conducted for the third year in 2010 at UC Davis, West Side Field Station, and El Centro, CA. Research on transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for gallic acid-based polymers (tannins) and polyphenol oxidase to study the effects of these genes on the feeding of alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) were begun. In-vitro tests of down-regulated lignin genes (COMT and C-COMT) have shown that our gas evolution in vitro methods are highly predictive of the low-lignin trait, and have shown them to have a much higher digestibility level than controls. Deficit irrigation treatments were imposed on a field study of Miscanthus (X giganteus and M. sinensis) which was established in 2008, and harvested through 2010. Yields of Miscanthus lines under deficit irrigation (irrigations cut off in June), were surprisingly good, even though water use was significantly lower. A project to measure ET of alfalfa across California was concluded in 2010 (5 year study), with measurements in El Centro and Tulelake, and Scott Valley using surface renewal instruments placed in farmer's fields. The California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium was held in Visalia, CA in December, 2010. A full day hands-on IPM workshop, featuring lectures and field diagnostics was very well received by farmers and Pest Control Advisors, and featured environmental issues and a focus on the state's corn silage industry, with guest lectures. There were 450 attendees. We engaged with grower groups to understand the importance of gene flow in Roundup-Ready alfalfa, and the necessity for coexistence with GE-sensitive crop production. Field days were held in Fresno County, Davis, and Tulelake, CA, with hundreds of participants each site. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu for further information. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals who worked on the project: Daniel H. Putnam, PI. Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. All others on this project are on soft-funding. There are no funded individuals who work on this project other than the PI Partner organizations: University of California Cooperative Extension UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis CA Department of Water Resources CA Farm Bureau Ceres Biotechnology Mendel Biosciences US Seed Companies who work with alfalfa (approximately 12) California Crop Improvement Association California Alfalfa & Forage Association National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance Biomass Collaborative Audubon Society Collaborators and Contacts: Collaborators within the UC Davis include those in Soil Sciences, Irrigation Management, Animal Sciences, and UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors who are base in counties. This project works extensively with a wide range of individuals in the private sector who are developing innovative genetic and products that might have an impact on forages. Training or Professional development: Undergraduate interns, student employees, and Project Scientists, and graduate students are part of this project. We interact frequently with farmers and service individuals, and industry members. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project includes alfalfa growers, forage growers, Pest Control Advisors, seed companies, biofuel businesses, regulatory agencies, members of the general public, fellow scientists and farm workers. We provide translations for the largely Spanish-speaking people who are working on alfalfa farms in California, a largely underserved group. There are a range of efforts expended to assure that the public is kept abreast of the work conducted under this CRIS. These outreach efforts are designed to cause a change in information, knowledge, understanding by interested members of the public. This outreach effort is accomplished through a very active website (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu), field days, farm visits, and the California Alfalfa Symposium, which was very well attended. The latter has a proceedings which is widely circulated and posted on the website. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
The impact of the California alfalfa variety testing program, largest of any state (7 locations, up to 10 harvests/datasets per year) was calculated for the over 30 years of testing. In a total of 113 trials, over 378 location/years, average yield differences due to variety 30% of the trial mean. The potential dollar value of this difference is $319,081, averaged over the 30 years of testing (2009 dollars). The average yield difference due to variety was 6 Mg/ha/year, based upon an average trial yield of 19.9 Mg/ha/year. Farmers widely use this data to choose varieties, and seed companies frequently re-print our data to show the ranking of their high yielding varieties, and promote those lines which do well in university trials. This program has been useful and is applicable to other western states and countries such as Mexico and Argentina. On an individual farm basis, we have calculated that the potential yield differences due to variety research is worth $100-400/acre to farmers, due just to the changes in yield, not including other values, such as pest resistance of advanced lines, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. This project participated fully in the national debate on coexistence of genetically-modified alfalfa with organic or other GE-sensitive growers, utilizing earlier published work to provide scientific content to the policy debate. We covered this issue as well as a wide range of this issue and other environmental issues at the annual outreach effort, The California Alfalfa Symposium. This reached hundreds of growers (550) from many states directly, and thousands more through downloads from the symposium proceedings which is on-line and published (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). When asked how attendees rated the symposium over 90% rated it Excellent or Outstanding. The measurement of Evapotranspiration in alfalfa fields over the past 6 years provides state regulators, water managers, and farmers with a significant new set of data on the water use of this important crop. The deficit irrigation calculations and field tests provide farmers with quantification of the impacts of deficit irrigation as a strategy, should water exchanges become viable during drought years.

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H. 2010. An Environmental Balance Sheet for Alfalfa. IN Proceedings, 2010 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Corn/Cereal Silage Mini-Symposium, Visalia, CA 1-2 December, 2010. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Putnam, D.H. 2010. Changing Forage Quality Testing for Alfalfa Hay Markets. IN Proceedings, 2010 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Corn/Cereal Silage Mini-Symposium, Visalia, CA 1-2 December, 2010. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Hanson, B., S. Orloff, K. Bali, B. Sanden, D.H. Putnam. 2010. Evapotranspiration of Fully-irrigated Alfalfa in Commercial Fields. Abstract IN: Proceedings., 2010 Plant and Soil Conference, Honolulu, HI.
  • Long, R., B. Westerdahl, and D.H. Putnam. 2010. Stem nematode Management in Alfalfa Hay Production. IN Proceedings, 2010 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Corn/Cereal Silage Mini-Symposium, Visalia, CA 1-2 December, 2010. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Biscaro, A., D. Putnam, S. Orloff, G. Giannini, C. DeBen, K. Klonsky. 2010. Economic Returns Due to Alfalfa Cultivar Selection over 30 Years of Testing in California Environments. IN Proceedings, 2010 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Corn/Cereal Silage Mini-Symposium, Visalia, CA 1-2 December, 2010. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Hanson, B., S. Orloff, K. Bali, B. Sanden, D.H. Putnam. 2010. Mid-summer Deficit Irrigation of Alfalfa in Commercial Fields. Abstract IN: Proceedings., 2010 Plant and Soil Conference, Honolulu, HI.
  • Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam. 2010. Adjusting Alfalfa Cutting Schedules for Economic Conditions. IN Proceedings, 2010 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Corn/Cereal Silage Mini-Symposium, Visalia, CA 1-2 December, 2010. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Blank, S. K. Klonsky, K. Fuller, S. Orloff, D.H. Putnam. 2009 Hay Harvesting Services Respond to Market Trends. California Agriculture, ppl 143-148.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This project focuses on the state's number 1 acreage crop, alfalfa, and on the development of new biofuel and forage crops that may be grown in California. In 2009, Alfalfa genetic adaptation and yield testing occurred at 7 sites, 3 through 10 harvests/year. A new trial was established at Davis, and at Lancaster, CA. A new trial to yield test salt-tolerant lines of alfalfa under field conditions, using a 6-rep RCB design, with co-variant varieties was established in Fresno County in October with 25 entries. These lines will be subject to increasing EC water in 2010 and 2011 (EC above 5.0), and enable farmers to utilize alfalfa on soils and with water sources with high EC with tolerant lines. Switchgrass yield trials utilizing 10 lines were conducted in 2009 at UC Davis, Tulelake, West Side Field Station, and El Centro, CA. Yields from the best yielding varieties were superior at West Side, Davis, and El Centro, ranging from 8 to 18 tons/acre and lower at the cooler Intermountain site. A field study of Miscanthus (X giganteus and M. sinenses) was established in 2008, and implemented in the first full production year in 2009. Yields of Miscanthus lines ranged from 5 to 8.5 tons/acre, but may have been limited by wide plant spacing in the field this first full year (0.7 M spacings). In 2010, plots will be subject to deficit irrigation treatments. A project to measure ET of alfalfa across California continued in 2009, with measurements in El Centro and Tulelake, and Scott Valley using surface renewal instruments placed in farmer's fields. We were the principle sponsor of the Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium held in Reno, NV in December, 2009. Attendees received diagnostic training on weed management, insect management, diseases, and soil diagnostics, genetics, pest management, irrigation, economics, and biofuels. 650 attendees. Field days were held in Fresno County, Davis, and Tulelake, CA, with hundreds of participants each site. Research continued on transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for gallic acid-based polymers (tannins) and polyphenol oxidase, with the goal to improve protein utilization of alfalfa. In-vitro tests of down-regulated lignin genes (COMT and C-COMT) have shown that our gas evolution in vitro methods are highly highly predictive of the low-lignin trait, and have shown them to have a much higher digestibility level than controls. Tannic acid slows the rate but not the extent of fermentation of low-lignin lines. Field research on tef (Erogrostis tef) using field-based lysimeters have measured the water requirements of this alternative forage. We engaged with grower groups to understand the importance of the introduction of Roundup-Ready alfalfa, gene flow, and the necessity for coexistence with GE-sensitive crop production. We completed a publication on controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds in roundup-ready alfalfa and transferred to growers at field days and national and regional meetings. The website: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu contains information for the public from this project in an organized fashion. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals who worked on the project: Daniel H. Putnam, PI. Extension Agronomist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. All others on this project are on soft-funding. There are no funded individuals who work on this project other than the PI. Partner organizations: University of California Cooperative Extension UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Davis CA Department of Water Resources Ceres Biotechnology Mendel Biosciences US Seed Companies who work with alfalfa (approximately 12) California Crop Improvement Association California Alfalfa & Forage Association National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance Biomass Collaborative Collaborators and Contacts: Collaborators within the UC Davis include those in Soil Sciences, Irrigation Management, Animal Sciences, and UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors who are base in counties. This project works extensively with a wide range of individuals in the private sector who are developing innovative genetic and products that might have an impact on forages. Training or Professional development: Undergraduate interns, student employees, and Project Scientists, and graduate students are part of this project. We interact frequently with farmers and service individuals, and industry members. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience for this project includes alfalfa growers, forage growers, Pest Control Advisors, seed companies, biofuel businesses, regulatory agencies, members of the general public, fellow scientists and farm workers. We provide translations for the largely Spanish-speaking people who are working on alfalfa farms in California, a largely underserved group. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The alfalfa variety testing program (7 locations, up to 10 harvests/datasets per year) is the most comprehensive of any alfalfa testing program in the nation and is applicable to other western states and countries such as Mexico and Argentina. Farmers widely use this data to choose varieties, and seed companies frequently re-print our data to show the ranking of their high yielding varieties, and promote those lines which do well in university trials. We have calculated that the yield differences due to variety research is worth $100-400/acre to farmers, up to $400 million/year to CA growers, due just to the changes in yield (differences between high and low yielding lines in the value of the yield itself), not including other values, such as pest resistance of advanced lines, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. On the biotech work, it's too early to see the impact yet, but down-regulated lignin, tannin, and PPO genes have the potential to significantly impact the feeding efficiency and the environmental impact of alfalfa as a forage. Alfalfa is the 4th largest acreage crop in the US. The Alfalfa symposium reached hundreds of growers (650) from many states directly, and thousands more through downloads from the symposium proceedings which is on-line and published (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). When asked how attendees rated the symposium 93% rated it Excellent or Outstanding, and 96% said they learned up to 15 new concepts related to farming practices, technology, and/or economics. 95% said that they learned something that might improve profitability for the coming year.

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H. 2009. Envisioning the future for alfalfa and forage crops in the West: Is it really as bad as it looks IN Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Reno, NV, Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, and WA. Published by UC Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, 95616.
  • Orloff, S. and Putnam, D. 2009. Reducing inputs to improve profits: Good or bad idea IN Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference, Reno, NV, Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, and WA. Published by UC Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, 95616.
  • Orloff, S.B., Putnam, D.H., Canevari, M., and Lanini, W.T. 2009. Avoiding weed shifts and weed resistance in roundup ready alfalfa systems. Publication 8362 University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu.
  • Getachew, G., Dandekar, A.M., Pittroff, W., DePeters, E.J., Putnam, D.H., Goyal, S., Teuber, L., and Uratsu, S. 2009. Impacts of polyphenol oxidase enzyme expression in transgenic alfalfa on in vitro gas production and ruminal degradation of protein, and nitrogen release during ensiling. Animal Feed Science and Technology 151: 44:54.
  • Hanson, B., Orloff, S., Bali, K., Sanden, B., and Putnam, D. 2009. Coping with low water years: What strategies can you use IN Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference, Reno, NV, Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, and WA. Published by UC Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, 95616.
  • Undersander, D., McCaslin, M., Sheaffer, C., Whalen, D., Miller, D., Putnam, D., and Orloff, S. 2009. Low lignin alfalfa: Redefining the yield/quality tradeoff. IN Western Alfalfa and Forage Conference, Reno, NV, Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, ID, NV, OR, and WA. Published by UC Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, 95616.
  • Putnam, D., Giannini, C., Maciel, F., Orloff, S., Kirby, D., DeBen, C., and Pattigan, D. 2009. 2009 California alfalfa variety trial yield results, including roundup-ready varieties. Agronomy Progress Report. Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension. No. 300. J. 2010.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: In 2008, we began major initiatives in cellulosic biofuels, particularly swtichgrass (Panicum virgatum), Miscanthus (Miscanthus spp.) and other cellulosic biofuel candidates. Outreach events held during 2008 include field days at Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center, Davis, El Centro and Tulelake, CA to transfer knowledge of alfalfa varieties and pest management to growers, crop advisors, and the general public. We organized the California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western Seed Symposium at San Diego, which contains 55 presentations, and over 600 attendees. In December 2008, we published the Irrigated Alfalfa management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones, a 400 page book which is a major new resource for growers, which has been widely and positively received by the audience. Research continued on transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for high concentrations of gallic acid-based polymers (tannins) and the potential application of polyphenol oxidase in forage crops. Our tannin-PPO project seeks to improve protein utilization of alfalfa. Since only 20-30% of the N in alfalfa is effectively utilized in alfalf, improvement in utilization may have large economic and environmental benefits. We have conducted in-vitro studies in my lab to examine the differences between gallic acid, tannic acids or quebracho tannins on the fate of N in ruminant systems. One unusual finding is the effects of gallic acid itself which appears to enhance fermentation, for reasons that are not immediately apparent. We have developed transformed alfalfa plants with PPO, Tannin, and combination of the two traits. More recently, on a separate utilization project, we have established a field trial on new isolines which contain two constructs which are down-regulated lignin genes (COMT and C-COMT), and collected data in 2008 in a multi-state study. Cellulosic biofuels have a natural fit with forages due to their growth habits, and confluence of equipment and farmer expertise. Yield trials on 10 lines of Switchgrass were planted in 2007, and yields taken in 2007-2008 at El Centro, Five Points, Davis, and Tulelake. Additional studies on the Nitrogen response of switchgrass were undertaken at these sites, and a cutting schedule trial at Five Points. The final year of a cool-season grass study were completed in 2008 at UC Davis, indicating the relative productivity of more than 40 species and varieties of cool season grasses. A project to test the interaction of tef (Erogrosis tef) varieties with nitrogen rates was conducted in 2006-2008. Evapotranspiration (ET) measurements in alfalfa in grower's fields indicated differences in ET between fully watered and deficit trials and differences between locations in ET and yield losses across the state. We generated research data and engaged with growers to discover methods of coexistence between Genetically Engineered Crops and Organic or other GE-sensitive growers and published a CAST paper on this subject. We further developed the content of our website http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu to make research data available to the public. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
The Irrigation study we have been working on has had an impact on state agencies and growers, who have been able to assess the possibilities of water savings and transfers from alfalfa. This is especially pertinent in 2008, which was a very water-short year, and growers have had to dry down their alfalfa due to lack of water. Our alfalfa variety testing program (6 locations, up to 10 harvests/datasets per year) is used by growers throughout California and other western states. Seed companies frequently re-print our data to show the ranking of their high yielding varieties, and the seed companies generally only promote those lines which do well in university trials. Our research on varieties alone is worth up to $400 million/year to CA growers, due just to the changes in yield (differences between high and low yielding lines in the value of the yield itself). This is independent of other values, such as pest resistance of advanced lines, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. The Field Days and Alfalfa Symposium (attended by 650 people) have had a large impact upon grower practices, and have received high reviews by attendees.

Publications

  • Orloff, S., Putnam, D.H., Meyer, R., Wilson, R. and Schmeirer, J. 2008. Using Cored Bale Samples to Assess Alfalfa Nutrient Needs. IN Proceedings, 2008 Western State Hay Growers Association Annual Conference & Trade Show Jan 16-17, 2008, Kennewick, WA. pp 63-67.
  • Putnam, D.H. 2008. Alfalfa and Switchgrass as Cellulosic Biofuels: Possibilities and Limits. IN Proceedings, 2008 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western alfalfa Seed Conference. 2-4 December, 2008, San Diego, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis. (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu)
  • Orloff, S., Putnam, D.H. and Wilson, R. 2008. Maximizing Fertilizer Efficiency through Tissue Testing and Improved Applications Methods. IN Proceedings, 2008 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western alfalfa Seed Conference. 2-4 December, 2008, San Diego, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Hanson, B., Bali, K., Orloff, S. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. Estimating Evapotranspiration of Fully-and Deficit-irrigated Alfalfa in Commercial Fields with the Eddy Covariance and Surface Renewal Methods. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting, June 29-July 3, 2008, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Hanson, B., Bali, K., Orloff, S., Carlson, H., Sanden, B. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. Midsummer deficit irrigation of alfalfa as a strategy for providing water for water-short areas. Sustainable Irrigation 2008, June 11-13, Alicante, Spain. Sponsored by the Wessex Institute of Technology, England.
  • Klonsky, K., Blank, S., Fuller, K., Orloff, S. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. An Analysis of Alfalfa Harvesting Costs: Implications for Custom Harvest Charges. IN Proceedings, 2008 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western alfalfa Seed Conference. 2-4 December, 2008, San Diego, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis. (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu)
  • Hanson, B., Bali, K., Orloff, S., Sanden, B. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. How Much Water does Alfalfa Really Need IN Proceedings, 2008 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western alfalfa Seed Conference. 2-4 December, 2008, San Diego, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Bali, K., Guerrero, J. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. Phosphorus Runoff Management for Alfalfa in Desert Regions. IN Proceedings, 2008 California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Western alfalfa Seed Conference. 2-4 December, 2008, San Diego, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Summers, C. and Putnam, D.H. (editors). 2008. Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 3512, Oakland, CA. 372 pages.
  • Putnam, D.H., Robinson, P. and DePeters, E. 2008. Forage Quality and Testing. In: (C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam, eds.) Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Peer Reviewed University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8302. Oakland, CA.
  • Cangiano, C.A., Castillo, A.R. and Guerrero, J. 2008. D.H. Putnam. Alfalfa Grazing Management. In: (C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam, eds.) Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Peer Reviewed University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8304. Oakland, CA.
  • Mueller, S.C., Undersander, D.J. and Putnam, D.H. 2008. Alfalfa for Industrial and Other Uses. In: (C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam, eds.) Irrigated Alfalfa Management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Peer Reviewed University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8305. Oakland, CA.
  • Getachew, G., Pitroff, W., DePeters, E.J., Putnam, D.H., Dandekar, A. and Goyal, S. 2008. Influence of tannic acid application on alfalfa hay: in vitro rumen fermentation, serum metabolites and nitrogen balance in sheep. Animal 2(3):381-390.
  • Deynze, A., Fitzpatrick, S., Hammon, B., McCaslin, M.H., Putnam, D.H., Teuber, L.R. and Undersander, D.J. 2008. Gene Flow in Alfalfa: Biology, Mitigation, and Potential Impact on Production. Special Publication No. 28. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Ames, IA.
  • Hanson, B., Putnam, D.H. and Snyder, R. 2008. Deficit irrigation of alfalfa as a strategy for saving water. Presented at the Irrigation Association Exhibition and Trade Show, November 5-7, 2008, San Antonio, TX.
  • Orloff, Steve, Putnam, D.H., Meyer, Roland, Wilson, Rob and Schmerier, Jerry. 2008. Using Cored Bale Samples to Assess Alfalfa Nutrient Needs. 2008 Western State Hay Growers Association Annual Conference & Trade Show Jan 16-17, 2008, Kennewick, WA. pp 63-67.
  • Putnam, D.H. and Gimlicher, D. 2008. University of California Alfalfa & Forages. (Alfalfa Workgroup Website). Comprehensive, in-depth website with features on many subjects, including stand establishment, variety trial results, pest management, forage quality, economics, as well as searchable databases on the symposium proceedings, varieties, etc. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
There were a number of products resulting from this integrated research-extension program during 2007. This Hatch project focuses on agronomic practices, water-use efficiency, irrigation management, variety improvement and adaptation, forage quality and pest management of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and other forage crops. Outreach events held during 2007 include field days at Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center, Davis, El Centro and Tulelake, CA to transfer knowledge of alfalfa varieties and pest management to growers, crop advisors, and the general public. We organized the California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, which contains 35 presentations, and was held at Monterey, CA in December, 2007 with over 450 attendees. We have also just published 12 of 24 chapters on Irrigated Alfalfa management for Mediterranean and Desert Zones, a major new resource for growers. Research continued on transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for high concentrations of hydrolysable tannin (gallic acid-based polymers) and the potential application of polyphenol oxidase in forage crops. A sheep feeding study was completed in 2007, which analyzed the impact of exogenously-applied tannic acid to alfalfa fed to sheep, a part of concept development. Analysis of urine, stool, and blood indicated that tannic acid was effective at binding protein in the rumen. Variety yield evaluations were conducted over a wide range of environments in 2007, including Tulelake, Fort Jones, Davis, Five Points, Parlier, and El Centro, CA. The second year of a cool-season grass study were completed in 2007 at UC Davis, indicating the relative productivity of more than 40 species and varieties of cool season grasses. A trial at El Centro studying the interactions between a newly-introduced BMR sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor) variety vs. Piper sudangrass and nitrogen rate and seeding density was completed, and samples are being analyzed for forage quality. A project to test the interaction of tef (Erogrosis tef) varieties with nitrogen rates was conducted in 2006 and 2007. A project on the effect of deficit irrigation of alfalfa on grower's fields and in small-plot studies is in its third year of research. Evapotranspiration (ET) measurements in alfalfa indicated differences in ET between fully watered and deficit trials indicated differences between locations in ET and yield losses across the state. Small-plot studies on the potential applications of growth regulators to alfalfa to assist in deficit irrigation strategies were conducted in 2006 and 2007 and the data reported at international meetings. We generated research data and engaged with growers to discover methods of coexistence between Genetically Engineered Crops and Organic or other GE-sensitive growers - assisted to organize a conference on this in Denver, August, 2007. Further work on the coexistence is being conducted, which involves public involvement as well as scientific vigor. We further developed the content of our website http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu to make research data available to the public.

Impacts
Our activities resulted in several changes in knowledge and action, although measurement of such changes is difficult to assess. Our comprehensive alfalfa variety testing program (6 locations, up to 10 harvests/datasets per year) is used by growers throughout California and other western states. Seed companies frequently re-print our data to show the ranking of their high yielding varieties, and the seed companies generally only promote those lines which do well in university trials. Our research on varieties alone is worth up to $400 million/year to CA growers, due just to the changes in yield (differences between high and low yielding lines in the value of the yield itself). This is independent of other values, such as pest resistance of advanced lines, which saves added millions in pesticide sprays and lost productivity. The Irrigation study has had an impact on state agencies and growers alike, who have been able to assess the possibilities of water savings and transfers from alfalfa. The Field Days and Alfalfa Symposium (attended by 450 people) have had a large impact upon grower practices, and have received high reviews by attendees.

Publications

  • 6. Sanden, B., D. H. Putnam, and B. Hanson, 2007. Forage Production Strategies with Limited Water Supply. IN Proceedings, 37th California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium, 17-19 December, 2007, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Information Center, Plant Sciences Dept., University of California, Davis 95616.
  • 7. Putnam, D.H. and C. Summers, 2007. Irrigated Alfalfa Production for Mediterranean and Desert Zones. IN Proceedings, 37th California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium, 17-19 December, 2007, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Information Center, Plant Sciences Dept., University of California, Davis 95616.
  • 8. Robinson, P., D.H. Putnam, and E. DePeters. 2007. Fundamentals of Alfalfa Quality. IN Proceedings, 37th California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium, 17-19 December, 2007, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Information Center, Plant Sciences Dept., University of California, Davis 95616.
  • 9. Putnam, D.H., 2007. Is it Possible for Genetically-Engineered (GE) and Non-GE Alfalfa to Coexist? IN Proceedings, 37th California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium, 17-19 December, 2007, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Information Center, Plant Sciences Dept., University of California, Davis 95616.
  • 1. Putnam, D.H., C..G. Summers, and S.B. Orloff. 2007. Alfalfa Production Systems in California. IN C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam (eds.) Irrigated alfalfa management in Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Chapter 1. Oakland: University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8287. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/irrigatedalfalfa
  • 2. Putnam, D.H., S.B. Orloff, and L.R. Teuber. 2007 Choosing an Alfalfa Variety. IN C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam (eds.) Irrigated alfalfa management in Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Chapter 5. Oakland: University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8291. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/irrigatedalfalfa
  • 3. Orloff, S.B., and D.H. Putnam 2007. Harvesting Strategies for Alfalfa. IN C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam (eds.) Irrigated alfalfa management in Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Chapter 13. Oakland: University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8299. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/irrigatedalfalfa
  • 4. Canevari, M., and D.H. Putnam. 2007. Managing Depleted Alfalfa Stands: Overseeing and Other Options. IN C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam (eds.) Irrigated alfalfa management in Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Chapter 15. Oakland: University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8301. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/irrigatedalfalfa
  • 5. Klonsky, K. B. Reed, and D.H. Putnam, 2007. Alfalfa Marketing and Economics. IN C.G. Summers and D.H. Putnam (eds.) Irrigated alfalfa management in Mediterranean and Desert Zones. Chapter 23. Oakland: University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 8309. See http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/irrigatedalfalfa


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
This applied research program focuses on agronomic practices, water-use efficiency, irrigation management, variety adaptation, forage quality and pest management of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and other forage crops, and the interaction of forages with environmental and resource-use issues. New initiatives in 2005-6 include a project which evaluates transgenic alfalfa containing novel genes transferred from walnut (Juglans nigra) for high concentrations of hydrolysable tannin (gallic acid-based polymers) and polyphenol oxidase. A review article of our research group indicates the need for modification of alfalfa protein to reduce ruminant degradation and reduce the environmental impact of dairy wastes. Further research to evaluate the impacts of these compounds and transgenic lines on the fate of alfalfa nitrogen in ruminant systems is ongoing. Variety yield evaluations were conducted over a wide range of environments in 2006, including a new location at West Side Field Station in Fresno County and Scott Valley, CA; these trial results are reported at http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu. A project on the effect of deficit irrigation of alfalfa on grower's fields and in small-plot studies documents yields losses of 1-2 Mg in yield during late-summer deficit irrigations. Evapotranspiration measurements indicated differences in ET between fully watered and deficit trials were approximately 28 cm in water savings. A 3-year study on the interactions between variety and wheel traffic was completed in 2006, and indicated an average of over 25% yield reduction due to equipment traffic. Yield decline due to traffic differed depending upon variety, with some varieties showing more rapid recovery and others less. Fall dormancy had a major effect on traffic impact, but also on overall yield potential. Further reports on our multiple-year studies on cutting schedules indicate optimum cutting schedules to differ from common practice of 28 day harvest schedules, favoring a staggered approach. Yield, quality and economics must be considered. A publication on the coexistence between Roundup-Ready Alfalfa (RR alfalfa) and conventional varieties grown for sensitive markets (primarily export and organic) which reject Genetically Engineered varieties was completed, describing the steps that growers can take to assure customers of the quality of their product. Studies on cool-season grass varieties were completed in 2006 at UC Davis, completing the first year of a 3 year trial. A trial at El Centro UC Research and extension Center studying the interactions between a newly-introduced BMR sudangrass variety vs. Piper sudangrass and nitrogen rate and seeding density was completed, and will be repeated in 2007.

Impacts
Our research on varieties alone is worth up to $400 million/year to CA growers. Studies documenting the impact of traffic on yield have provided growers with knowledge of incentives of 20-30% yield advantages for mitigating traffic impacts on alfalfa. The research begun in 2005-6 on tannins and PPO genes introduced into alfalfa have the potential to reduce dairy waste impacts on the environment.

Publications

  • Getachew, G., E.J. DePeters, W. Pittroff, D.H. Putnam, and A.M. Dandekar. 2006. Review: Does Protein in alfalfa need protection from rumen microbes? The Professional Animal Scientist 22 (2006): 364-373.
  • Putnam, D. H. 2006. Methods to Enable the Co-Existence of Diverse Alfalfa Production Systems. Peer-reviewed on-line Publication Publ. 8193. University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu
  • Putnam, D.H. 2006. Emerging Issues with Forages in the Southwest. In: Proceedings, 2006 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, December 11-13, 2006, Reno, Nevada Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY. Published by: UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Extension Center, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Putnam, D.H., C. Giannini, S. Orloff, H. Carlson, F. Maciel. 2006 Variety Trial Reports. Web publication: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/+producing/variety/year.html
  • Putnam, D.H. and D. Undersander. 2006. The future of Alfalfa Forage Quality Testing in Hay Markets. In: Proceedings, 2006 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, December 11-13, 2006, Reno, Nevada Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY. Published by: UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Extension Center, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Hanson, B., D.H. Putnam, and R. Snyder. 2006. Deficit Irrigation Of Alfalfa As A Strategy for Providing Water For Nonagricultural Uses. IN Proceedings, Irrigation Association 27th annual Irrigation Seminar. Nov. 5-7, 2006, San Antonio, TX.
  • Hanson, B., D.H. Putnam, and R. Snyder. 2006. Deficit Irrigation of Alfalfa as a Strategy for Saving Water. IN Proceedings. US Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (USCID) Conference, Ground Water and Surface Water under Stress: Competition, Interaction, Solutions. Boise ID, October 25-28, 2206
  • Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam. 2006. Cutting Schedule Strategies to Maximize Returns. In: Proceedings, 2006 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, December 11-13, 2006, Reno, Nevada Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY. Published by: UC Cooperative Extension, Agronomy Research and Extension Center, Plant Sciences Department, University of California, Davis 95616. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu


Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
We conduct research work on agronomic practices, water-use efficiency, irrigation management, variety adaptation, forage quality and pest management of alfalfa, and the interaction of forages with environmental and resource-use issues. A 3-year trial on cutting schedules and varieties was completed in 2005, and we reported the final data for the yield-quality tradeoff in alfalfa, and its implications for harvest management, variety selection, and stand longevity. Economic tools to judge that tradeoff have been provided, and the data reported in the California Alfalfa Symposium Proceedings. Variety trials conducted at UC A wide range of environments are included including desert environments, Mediterranean environments, and intermountain environments (see http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). Continuing studies on improving IPM thresholds for alfalfa weevil has resulted in a re-examination of these thresholds, we should be coming out with revised thresholds during 2006. A project on the effect of deficit irrigation of alfalfa on grower's fields and in small-plot studies documents yields losses of 1-2 Mg in yield during late-summer deficit irrigations, but this did not occur at all locations. Where high water tables contributed to ET, yield losses were negligible. At one location, where ET was measured, differences in ET between fully watered and deficit trials were approximately 28 cm in water savings. There is a need for better understanding of the yield losses associated with deficit irrigation, methods for approaching deficit irrigation, and the economics of water use efficiency. Studies on the sampling and measurement of the Roundup Ready Trait in alfalfa hay were conducted during 2005;we sampled field-grown crops with 0,1%,5% and 10% adventitious presence of this genetically modified trait. Two commercially available test strips were always able to detect AP at 5%, and sometimes 1%. Methods to enable coexistence of biotech and non-biotech traits in alfalfa were described. A new project was initiated in 2005 to study the nutritional value of hydrolyzable tannins in alfalfa for increasing protein utilization efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of dairy wastes. Studies were conducted on alternative forages in 2003 including ryegrass, sudangrass and BMR sorghum crosses, and various cool-season perennial grasses.

Impacts
Our research on varieties is worth between $50-$400 million/year to CA growers due to increased yields. We have enabled a scientific evaluation of the yield-quality tradeoff with varieties and cutting schedules, very important to growers. Deficit irrigation work on alfalfa may enable orderly voluntary water transfers in future droughts.

Publications

  • Putnam, D. H., 2005. Critiquing the Use of Quality Tests in Alfalfa Hay Markets.IN Proceedings, American Forage and Grasslands Council, 14-16 June, Bloomington, Indiana. American Forage and Grasslands Council, PO Box 94, Georgtown, TX 78627 (peer reviewed proceedings)
  • Hashemi, A.M., S.J. Herbert, and D.H. Putnam. 2005. Yield Response of Corn to Crowding Stress. Agronomy J. 97:839-846
  • Orloff, S.B., D.H. Putnam, B. Hanson, and H. Carlson. 2005. Implications of Deficit Irrigation management of Alfalfa. pp. 25-38. IN Proceedings, 35th California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12-14 December, 2005, Visalia, CA. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Godfrey, L., K.C. Windbiel-Rojas, R. Lewis, D.H. Putnam, M. Canevari, C. Frate, D. Marcum, S. B. Orloff, J.L. Schmierer. 2005. Alfalfa Weevils: A New Look at an Old Pest. pp. 103-110. IN Proceedings, 35th California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12-14 December, 2005, Visalia, CA. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Schmierer, J.L., R.D. Meyer, and D.H. Putnam. 2005. Testing Alfalfa for Phosphorus and Potassium Nutrient Deficiencies. pp. 201-208. IN Proceedings, 35th California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12-14 December, 2005, Visalia, CA. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Putnam, D.H., S.B. Orloff, and L.R. Teuber. 2005. Strategies for Balancing Quality and Yield Using Cutting Schedules and Varieties. pp. 237-252. IN Proceedings, 35th California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12-14 December, 2005, Visalia, CA. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
  • Putnam, D.H. 2005.Market Sensitivity and Methods to Ensure Tolerance of Biotech and Non-Biotech Alfalfa Production Systems. pp. 279-298. IN Proceedings, 35th California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12-14 December, 2005, Visalia, CA. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu


Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

Outputs
This project integrates both research and extension activities pertaining to alfalfa and forage crops. The scope is broad, with projects pertaining to water-use efficiency, irrigation management, variety adaptation, forage quality, and the introduction of biotech traits in alfalfa. Alfalfa is grown on about 1 million acres of irrigated land, the largest acreage crop in CA. Alfalfa consumes about 19.5 percent of the state's agricultural water, and a major focus of this program is on the water quantity and water quality challenges of the single-largest water user in the state. Research on deficit irrigation of alfalfa was conducted in 2003-2004 at Tulelake and Davis, with the aim to increase the flexibility of alfalfa water use transferred in times of drought. Substantial quantities of water can be saved (1-2 acre-feet per year) from alfalfa deficit programs in July-August, but with substantial yield losses in some environments, but not others. High water tables enable continued alfalfa production with little yield loss under deficit conditions. Questions about the calculation of water available for transfer are complicated by high water tables which enable ET even under low water application situations. Deficit irrigation strategies appear to hold some promise for late-season water transfers under drought conditions, freeing up hundreds of thousands of acre feet if voluntary methods of exchange are developed. There is a need for better understanding of the yield losses associated with deficit irrigation, methods for approaching deficit irrigation, and the economics of water use efficiency. Mitigation measures for preventing off-site movement of pesticides used in alfalfa were reported, which is focused on chlorpyrifos off-site movement. Off site movement can occur via either surface runoff directly. Additionally, surface waters which collect in holding ponds that may affect groundwater. The third and final year of a cutting schedule-variety trial at UC Davis (2001-2005) was completed, with one additional cutting for data collection to be taken in 2005 on all plots. Economic analysis of the yield-quality tradeoff in alfalfa showed quantitative differences between varieties in yield and quality due to differences in Fall Dormancy (FD) Ratings. Guidelines for estimating the yield-quantity tradeoff in alfalfa were provided. Yield losses of 0.3 to 0.6 t per acre per unit of FD were observed in this collection of 18 varieties. Quality changes of approximately 2 points change in either ADF, NDF or CP per unit of FD, although there are some varieties which are exceptions. The relationship between FD and quality was stronger than the relationship between FD and yield. Cutting schedule had a more powerful influence on quality and yield than did variety. Studies were conducted on alternative forages in 2004 on sudangrass and BMR sorghum crosses. Yield studies on new varieties of alfalfa with glyphosate-resistant gene were initiated, and continued during 2004, showing yield potential of glyphosate-resistant plants to be essentially equivalent to varieties of the same dormancy level that did not contain the glyphosate-resistant gene.

Impacts
Information on the yield-quality tradeoff in alfalfa as affected by variety and cutting schedule has resulted in changes in practices in CA. Information technology to choose a superior-yielding variety from our trials can be worth 50- 400 million dollars per year to CA growers. Proposed mitigation techniques for preventing pollution have been adapted by some growers, and will help to improve the quality of surface waters in California.

Publications

  • Orloff, S., and D.H. Putnam, 2004 Balancing Yield, Quality, and Persistence, IN Proceedings, National Alfalfa Symposium, 13-15 December, 2004 San Diego, CA University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA.
  • Putnam, D.H. 2004 Forage Quality Testing and Markets: Where are we going? IN Proceedings, National Alfalfa Symposium, 13-15 December, 2004 San Diego, CA University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA. Putnam, D.H. 2004 Will the Public Recognize the Environmental Benefits of Alfalfa? IN Proceedings, National Alfalfa Symposium, 13-15 December, 2004 San Diego, CA University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA.
  • Putnam, D.H., S. Orloff, and L. R. Teuber. 2004. Economic Sustainability; Genetic and cutting schedule influences on the yield-quality tradeoff in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L) IN Proceedings Fourth International Crop Science Congress, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Schmierer, J., D.H. Putnam, D. Undersander, J. Liu, and H. Meister. 2004 Wheel Traffic in Alfalfa. What do we know? What can we do about it? IN Proceedings, National Alfalfa Symposium, 13-15 December, 2004 San Diego, CA University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA.
  • Van Deynze, A., D.H. Putnam, S.Orloff, T. Lanini, M. Canevari, R. Vargas, K. Hembree, S. Meuller, L. Teuber. 2004. Roundup Ready Alfalfa: An Emerging Technology. Publication 8153 Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California.
  • Hanson, B.R., and D.H. Putnam. 2004 Flood Irrigation: How Does it Behave? IN Proceedings, National Alfalfa Symposium, 13-15 December, 2004 San Diego, CA University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA.


Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

Outputs
California, alfalfa is grown on about 1.1 million acres, the largest acreage crop, and CA is the largest producer of alfalfa hay in the nation. In terms of resources, alfalfa consumes about 19.5 percent of the state's agricultural water. Forages as a whole consume approximately 33 percent of the water, and occupy about 25 percent of the irrigated land. This project is an integrated research-extension project on alfalfa and forage crops with an emphasis on water-use efficiency, irrigation management, variety adaptation, forage quality, and the interaction of forages with environmental and resource-use issues. Research on varieties X cutting schedule interactions, and an economic analysis of the yield-quality tradeoff in alfalfa showed quantitative differences between varieties in yield and quality due to differences in Fall Dormancy (FD) Ratings. We found that yields change from 0.3 to 0.6 t/acre per each unit of FD. Fall Dormancy of the variety accounts for approximately 2 points change in either ADF, NDF or CP, although there are some varieties which are exceptions. The choice of a more dormant variety which may improve quality should be balanced with the yield loss likely when planting that variety. Economic tools to judge that tradeoff are provided. Yield and stand persistence of alfalfa and berseem clover cultivars were quantified at seven sites and results published in the Agronomy Progress Report and electronically. A wide range of environments are included including desert environments, Mediterranean environments, and intermountain environments (see http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). Studies on alfalfa weevil in cooperation with entomologists showed yield losses but not quality losses due to insect infestations, and further work should aid in improving IPM thresholds which have not been re-evaluated in 30 years. Studies were published on the use of soil moisture monitoring to aid in improved water-use efficiency for alfalfa and pasture production, results that should aid in improving grower efficiency. We initiated new projects on the effect of deficit irrigation of alfalfa, so that water might be transferred in times of drought. We documented substantial quantities of potential water savings, but substantial yield losses in some environments, but not others. There is a need for better understanding of the yield losses associated with deficit irrigation, methods for approaching deficit irrigation, and the economics of water use efficiency. Mitigation measures for preventing off-site movement of pesticides used in alfalfa were reported, which is focused on chlorpyrifos off-site movement. Off site movement can occur via either surface runoff directly, or surface waters which collect in holding ponds that may affect groundwater. Studies were conducted on alternative forages in 2003 including ryegrass, sudangrass and BMR sorghum crosses, and various perennial grasses. Efficacy studies on new varieties of alfalfa with glyphosate-resistant gene were initiated in 2002-2003.

Impacts
The simple choice of a superior-yielding line (can be only determined from our research work) can be worth $50-$400 million/year to CA growers due to increased yields or pest resistance. Irrigation management methods aid in improving water use efficiency, highly important for the states Number1 water user. Our proposed mitigation techniques have been adapted by some growers, and will likely help to improve the quality of polluted surface waters.

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H., and Orloff, S.B. 2003. Using varieties and cutting schedules to Achieve High Quality Hay: What are the Tradeoffs? IN Proceedings, 33rd California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium 17-19 December, 2003, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616 (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu).
  • Putnam. D.H. 2003. Mitigating Water Quality Concerns: How the Alfalfa Industry Might Respond. IN Proceedings, 33rd California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium 17-19 December, 2003, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616 (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu).
  • Orloff, S.B., Hanson, B., and Putnam, D.H. 2003. Utilizing Soil-Moisture Monitoring to Improve Alfalfa and Pasture Irrigation Management. Crop Management on-line journal. Jan. 2003. http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/cm/management/2003/moisture /
  • Poole, G., Putnam, D.H., Orloff, S.B. 2003 Considerations in Choosing an Alfalfa Variety. IN Proceedings, 33rd California Alfalfa and Forage Symposium 17-19 December, 2003, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616 (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu).
  • Orloff, S.B., Putnam, D.H., and Blank, S. 2002. Proper Harvest Timing Can Improve Returns for Intermountain Alfalfa. California Agriculture Vol 56(6):202-208. http://calag.ucop.edu/0206ND/pdfs/alfalfatime.pdf
  • Lewis, R.,Godfrey, L, and Putnam, D.H. 2003. Weevil Research: New Chemistries and Old Predators. IN Proceedings, 33rd California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium 17-19 December, 2003, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616 (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu).
  • Long, R., Putnam, D.H., and Canevari, M. 2003. Overseeding and Management of Older Alfalfa Stands. IN Proceedings, 33rd California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium 17-19 December, 2003, Monterey, CA. UC Cooperative Extension, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616 (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu).


Progress 01/01/02 to 12/31/02

Outputs
Studies on alfalfa and other forage crops were conducted during 2002, as a component of an integrated research-extension program on forage crops. Focus was on forage quality and the yield/quality tradeoff with alfalfa, analysis of variety advancement, irrigation, and solutions to environmental issues. Alfalfa occupies greater than 1.1 million acres in California in 2002, with other forages totaling greater than 700,000 acres. Forages continue to be a critical component of California's cropping systems, primarily due to the tremendous growth of the California dairy industry, the state's number one agricultural industry. Research to quantify the alfalfa yield and quality tradeoff and its implications for variety selection, economic returns, and for cutting schedules culminated in several publications in 2002 on this subject. Quantification of yield gains and quality losses over an alfalfa growth period will enable harvest decisions based upon rational economic criteria, which are also described. Publications on agronomic techniques to produce high-quality alfalfa for the dairy sector were described. Analysis of variety performance for alfalfa lines revealed a 0.4 to 0.6 t/a dm yield increase for each point in Fall Dormancy Score from field-measured FD scores. However, on the average, each point in FD Score increases fiber (ADF) by about 1.2 percentage points. Analysis of varieties that exhibit `exceptions' to this yield quality tradeoff may be productive, enabling growers to choose lines with both high yield and excellent quality. Statewide variety trial evaluations were conducted at Tulelake, Scott Valley, Davis, Fresno, and El Centro. Performance data from these experiments were published in the Agronomy Progress Report, and on the web at http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu. A Hay Sampling Certification program was launched in 2002, and subsequently endorsed by the National Forage Testing Association. This entails publication of hay sampling protocols based upon research, web-based 30-question exam, and method for obtaining a certification. Research work in 2002. Two conferences were sponsored in 2002: North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference (Sacramento, July), and the Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium (Reno, December), where research results were shared with colleagues and growers. Research work which analyzes the impact of insecticide choice on offsite movement of pesticides was completed in 2002. We found that of more than 25 fields which received either an organophosphate (OP) or a pyrethroid class of insecticide, all of the fields receiving the OP insecticides showed mortality of the test organism (daphnia water flea). Methods to curtail pesticide runoff were discussed. Work on berseem clover and ryegrass continued in 2002, and results reported. The third and final year of the Biologically integrated Farming Systems research project on Manures and forages was completed in cooperation with colleagues. Methods to manage forage crops with manure applications resulted in the reduction of applied fertilizers (and presumably nitrate contamination) on the large majority of the farmer-cooperator locations.

Impacts
Quantification of differences due to cutting schedules and varieties may be worth >$300 million/year to both dairy and forage sectors. Research on pesticide runoff has enabled growers to prevent OP pesticide runoff from alfalfa fields in sensitive areas. Manure management with forages has encouraged stewardship and prevented nitrate contamination due to manure disposal.

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H. 2002 Producing Quality Alfalfa in the Western United States. Published IN China International Grasslands Symposium Proceedings. 20-23 May, 2002 Bejing, China.
  • Putnam, D.H. Alfalfa is Important to Wildlife and the Environment, as well as to Farmers. 2002 California Alfalfa & Forage Review, Vol 5, No. 1 February, 2002. University of California Cooperative Extension. Full Color, 24 pages.
  • Putnam, D.H. 2002 Does the Price of Alfalfa Seed Matter? - What are the Economics of Choosing the right Variety? California Alfalfa & Forage Review. UC Cooperative Extension. Vol 5, No. 1 February, 2002.
  • Putnam, D.H. 2002 Hay Sampling Certifiation Program Launched. California Alfalfa & Forage Review, Vol 5, No. 2 July, 2002. University of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H., 2002 Ed DePeters, and Marsha Mathews. 2002 NFTA and California Recognized Labs. California Alfalfa & Forage Review, Vol 5, No. 2 July, 2002. University of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H., and S. Orloff. 2002 Hay Sampling Certification. Interactive Website including on-line exam, hay sampling protocol, and certification pages. Available on the World Wide Web at: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/subpages/ ForageQuality/Sampling/intro.html This is an interactive exam, certification program and a publication of hay sampling protocols.
  • Putnam, D.H., S. B. Orloff, L.B. Tueber, and Gary Peterson. 2002 Analyzing cultivar performance utilizing both yield and quality factors. Proceedings, North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference, July 29-31, 2002, Sacramento, CA. NAAIC
  • Putnam, D.H. 2002 Alfalfa is Important to Wildlife and the Environment, as well as to Farmers. California Alfalfa & Forage Review, Vol 5, No. 1 February, 2002. University of California Cooperative Extension. Full Color, 24 pages.
  • Putnam, D.H., Ed DePeters, and Marsha Mathews. 2002 NFTA and California Recognized Labs. California Alfalfa & Forage Review, Vol 5, No. 2 July, 2002. University of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H. and S. Orloff. 2002 Hay Sampling Certification. Interactive Website including on-line exam, hay sampling protocol, and certification pages. Available on the World Wide Web at: http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/subpages/ForageQuality/Sampling/intro.html This is a program, not just a publication.
  • Putnam, D.H., S.P. Orloff, S. Mueller, C. Frate, D. Marcum, M. Canevari. 2002 Dirunal Effect s on Alfalfa Forage Quality in Varied Agro-Climatic Zones in California. INVITED oral paper. IN Agronomy Abstracts, November 11-15, Indianapolis, In American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.Agronomy Abstracts, Indianapolis, IN American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.
  • Putnam, D.H., S.P. Orloff, T.A. O'Neal, and S. Geng. 2002 Sources of Variation in Forage Quality in Large Bales of Alfalfa Hay. In Agronomy Abstracts, November 11-15, Indianapolis, IN, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.
  • Orloff, S.B., D.H. Putnam, T.A. O'Neal and S.Blank. 2002 Influence of Cutting Schedules on Profitability. In Agronomy Abstracts, November 11-15, Indianapolis, IN, American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI
  • Long, R.F., M. Nett, D.H. Putnam, G. Shan, J. Schmierer, B. Reed. 2002 Insecticide Choice for Alfalfa may Protect Water Quality. California Agriculture 56(5):163:169.
  • Orloff, S.B., D.H. Putnam, and S. Blank. 2002. Proper Harvest Timing can Improve Returns for Intermountain alfalfa. California Agriculture 56(6): 202-208
  • Putnam, D.H. and Ottman, M. 2002 Emergin Issues wwith Alfalfa in the Desert and Mediterranean Regions of the Western United States (CA/AZ). In Proceedings 2002 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, 11-13 December, 2002, Reno, NV. Univ. of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H. and S.B. Orloff. 2002 Hay Sampling Protocols and a Hay Sampling Certification Program. In Proceedings 2002 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, 11-13 December, 2002, Reno, NV. Univ. of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H. 2002 New/Emerging Measurements for Forage Quality. In Proceedings 2002 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, 11-13 December, 2002, Reno, NV. Univ. of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Putnam, D.H., G. Peterson, L. Gibbs, K. Taggard, S. Orloff, J. Campos, Amanda Moritz, H. Carlson, Larry Teuber, and D. Kirby. 2002 Alfalfa Cultivar Yield and Fall Dormancy Trial Results. February, 2002. Agronomy Progress Report No. 278. Cooperative Extension, Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis. pp. 1-23
  • Orloff, S.B., and Putnam, D.H. 2002 Harvest Timing Strategies for Improved Profit. In Proceedings 2002 Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, 11-13 December, 2002, Reno, NV. Univ. of California Cooperative Extension.


Progress 01/01/01 to 12/31/01

Outputs
This project is an integrated research and extension program concerning alfalfa and other harvested forages grown in California. These collectively occupy more than 20 percent of the irrigated acreage, with alfalfa alone over 1 million acres, currently economically the most important field crop in the State. An MS thesis project was completed, modeling the growth of alfalfa in relationship to yield and quality of alfalfa in different environments, characterizing growth curves. Additionally, a decision model for the yield quality tradeoff in alfalfa was devised. Behavior of California markets was characterized, and the maximum potential allowable yield reduction or quality gain with cutting schedule was described. This data should enable prediction of optimum economic cutting schedules for different California environments. Yield and stand persistence of alfalfa and berseem clover cultivars were quantified at 7 sites in California and results published in the Agronomy Progress Report and electronically (http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). These studies span a wide range of environments, including desert environments (8-10 harvests), Mediterranean environments (6-8 harvests), and intermountain environments (3-4 harvests). A 3-year study on overseeding older alfalfa stands with different forages including oats (Avena sativa), berseem clover, red clover (Trifolum pretense), and orchardgrass indicated that this practice increased or maintained forage yield, eliminating need for insecticides to prevent yield loss from the Egyptian alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica). However, overseeding did not prevent damage by the insect, and in the case of the grasses, lowered forage quality. Studies on the efficacy of the ANKOM fiber analysis systems repeatability and accuracy were completed. Studies on the efficacy of using resistance blocks for soil moisture monitoring in relationship to alfalfa and pasture production were summarized, and an MS Excel spreadsheet developed for management of irrigation water (see http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu). This should enable growers to be more careful with water applications. A detailed publication of a study of the environmental interactions of alfalfa with wildlife and the environment was completed, and mitigation measures for preventing off-site movement of pesticides used in alfalfa reported. Alfalfa is host to about 27 percent of the naturally-occurring wildlife species in California, from a review of the California Habitat Relationship model. Studies were initiated on alternative forages in 2001, including field studies of tef (Erogrostis tef), soybean (Glycine max), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), ryegrass (Lolium spp.), sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor (L.) moench) and foxtail millet (Setaria italica), and various perennial grasses (e.g. tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea, orchardgrass, Dactylis glomerata). A new field study on the interactions between cutting schedules and varieties of alfalfa was initiated in 2001 and will likely continue for three years.

Impacts
The differences due to improved alfalfa varieties are worth $50-$100 million/year due to increased yields or pest resistance. Our economic analysis of cutting schedules has enabled growers to save or gain between 12 percent and 30 percent due to improved decisions on cutting schedules. Mitigation measures we developed may prevent pesticide runoff, helping to improve the quality of polluted surface waters.

Publications

  • Ackerly, T. 2001. Characterizing and Predicting the Yield/Quality Tradeoff in Alfalfa. MS Thesis. Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis. 104 pp.
  • Ball, D., Collins, M., Lacefield, G., Martin, N., Mertens, D., Olson, K., Putnam, D.H., Undersander, D., Wolf, M. 2001. Understanding Forage Quality. American Farm Bureau Federation Publication 1-01, Park Ridge, IL. 18 pages.
  • Blank, S.C., Orloff, S.B., Putnam, D.H. 2001. Sequential Stochastic Production Decisions for a Perennial Crop: The Yield/Quality Tradeoff for Alfalfa Hay. J. Agricultural and Resource Economics 26(1):195-211.
  • Orloff, S. and Putnam, D.H. 2001. Soil Moisture Graphing Program for alfalfa and pastures. Downloadable Excel Spreadsheet for graphing and tracking irrigation and soil moisture status.
  • Orloff, S, Hanson, B., and Putnam, D.H. 2001. Soil Moisture Monitoring-A simple Method to Improve Alfalfa and Pasture Irrigation Management. Univ. of California Cooperative Extension.
  • Orloff, S., D. Putnam, and S. Blank. 2001. Understanding the Economics of the Yield-Quality Tradeoff. IN Proceedings, 31st California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12/11/2001 - 12/13/2001, Modesto, UC Cooperative Extension, CA Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis. pp. 57-60
  • Putnam, D.H. 2001. Preventing the Off-site Movement of Pesticides in Alfalfa. 2001. IN Proceedings, 31st California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12/11/2001 - 12/13/2001, Modesto, UC Cooperative Extension, CA Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis. pp. 57-60.
  • Putnam, D.H. Emerging Issues of Importance to the California Alfalfa Industry. 2001. IN Proceedings, 31st California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium, 12/11/2001 - 12/13/2001, Modesto, UC Cooperative Extension, CA Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis. pp. 1-6.
  • Putnam, D.H.; Long, R.; Reed, B.A.; and Williams, W.A. 2001. Effect of Overseeding Forages into Alfalfa on Alfalfa Weevil, Forage yield and quality. J. Agronomy and Crop Science 187:75-81.
  • Putnam, D.H.; M. Russelle; S. Orloff; J. Kuhn; L. Fitzhugh; L. Godfrey; A. Kiess; and R. Long. 2001. Alfalfa, Wildlife and the Environment-The importance and Benefits of Alfalfa in the 21st Century. California Alfalfa & Forage Association, Novato, CA. http://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu 24 pp.
  • Putnam, D. H., Peterson, G, Gibbs, L., Taggard, K., Teuber, L., Orloff, S., Ackerly, T., Kirby, D. 2001. 2000 Alfalfa Cultivar Yield and Fall Dormancy Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 267. Jan. 2001. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616


Progress 01/01/00 to 12/31/00

Outputs
In 2000, studies were conducted on alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., berseem clover, Trifolium alexandrinum, cultivars, and several other forages including tef, Erogrostis tef. A study modeling the growth of alfalfa in relationship to yield and quality of alfalfa was conducted in the Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley of California was conducted in 1999-2000, and combined with previous data from Intermountain California. Long-term objectives include building decision tools to optimizing profitability through modifying cutting schedules and prediction of optimum yield/quality curves. Growth rates of alfalfa ranged from 68-202 kg/ha/d and Acid Detergent Fiber concentrations declined from 2.5 to 7.5 g/kg/d. Changes in Neutral Detergent Fiber and Crude Protein were also defined. Yield and stand persistence of alfalfa cultivars were quantified at 7 sites in California and results published in the Agronomy Progress Report. Trials at Tulelake, Scott Valley, Davis, Kearney Ag. Center, and West Side Field Station were harvested and new alfalfa cultivar trials were established at El Centro and Blythe. The CA variety testing program is likely the most comprehensive in western states, spanning fall dormancies from 3 through 10. Results are available on the Web site. Differences between alfalfa cultivars in yield range from 0 to 35 percent, with many of the more recently released varieties exhibiting high yields. This data is under heavy demand by alfalfa growers and seed producers. Results of 10 years of yield and quality research data for berseem clover were published. Cultivars differed significantly in performance a different locations, and in disease, primarily Phoma spp., reaction throughout California. Yield patterns of berseem varieties differed greatly, indicating niche opportunities for specific lines. A study of sampling methodology including big-bale, e.g. one ton bales, was conducted in the Intermountain region of California to match previous year's data from Bakersfield. Research to date suggests high levels of variability within big bales, no spatial pattern of quality concentrations, and no significant differences between interior sections of bales and exterior ends. Preliminary data indicates the importance of maintaining high core numbers for adequate sampling regimes. A series of studies on overseeding and companion cropping for alfalfa were summarized in a University of California report on the subject in 2000.

Impacts
We have demonstrated that small changes in cutting schedules can lead to large differences in profitability, providing tools for rational harvest scheduling. The alfalfa cultivars we have identified are potentially worth between $50 and 100 million in California annually due to increased yields. Data on alternative forage crops is used by the industry to identify new future opportunities.

Publications

  • Canevari, W.M., Putnam, D.H., Lanini, W.T., Long, R.F., Orloff, S.B., Reed, B.A., Varagas, R.V. 2000. Overseeding and Companion Cropping in Alfalfa. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Publication 21594. University of California ANR Communications Services, Oakland, CA
  • Putnam, D., Williams, B., Peterson, G., Graves, W., Gibbs, L., Lamb, C., Ackerly, T., and Thomsen, C. 2000 Yield and Quality Performance of Berseem Clover Cultivars: Ten Years of Field Trials, 1990-1999. Agronomy Progress Report No. 269. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616
  • Putnam, D., Peterson, G, Gibbs, L., Taggard, K., Teuber, L., Orloff, S., Ackerly, T., Kirby, D. 2000. Alfalfa Cultivar. Yield and Fall Dormancy Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 267. University of California Cooperative Extension, Dept. of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, CA 95616
  • Putnam, D.H., Orloff, S.B., and Ackerly, T., Agronomic Practices and Forage Quality. 2000. In Proceedings, 29th National Alfalfa Symposium, 11-12 December, Las Vegas, NV. Alfalfa Council and UC Cooperative Extension, UC Davis, CA 05616 pp. 183-195.
  • Ackerly, T., Putnam, D.H., and Orloff, S.B. 2000. Quantifying the Yield/Quality Tradeoff. In Proceedings, 29th National Alfalfa Symposium, 11-12 December, Las Vegas, NV. Alfalfa Council and UC Cooperative Extension, UC Davis, CA 05616 pp. 197-203
  • Orloff, S. B., D.H. Putnam, S. Blank and T. Ackerly. 2000. Cutting Schedules to Maximize Profit. In Proceedings, 29th National Alfalfa Symposium, 11-12 December, Las Vegas, NV. Alfalfa Council and UC Cooperative Extension, UC Davis, CA 05616 pp. 205-219.


Progress 01/01/99 to 12/31/99

Outputs
Studies conducted during 1999 include studies of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars, berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) cultivars, introduction of kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum), maceration of alfalfa, forage quality and sampling methodology, sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor L.) N studies, and work with tef (Erogrostis tef). Yields of alfalfa cultivars were evaluated in 7 studies at Tulelake, Scott Valley (Intermountain area), Davis (Sacramento Valley), Parlier and Five Points (San Joaquin Valley), and El Centro (Imperial Valley), and results published in an Agronomy Progress Report. Results are also available on the Web at: http://agronomy.ucdavis.edu/alfalfa.wg/SUBPAGES/Variety.htm. Cultivars of berseem clover were evaluated for yield and quality at three locations in 1999, Davis, Five Points, and El Centro. Dry Matter yields of berseem cultivars in 4-5 harvests/year ranged between 13-20 Mg Ha-1 at El Centro in 1998 and 1999, indicating excellent adaptation to the desert environment. Cultivars differed significantly in performance a different locations, and in disease (primarily Phoma blacksetm) reaction. ADF values of berseem ranged from 22-30% during the first five harvests, CP values from 18-26%, and NDF values from 27-42%, comparing favorably with alfalfa. Nitrogen-use fertilizer study on sudangrass was conducted in a desert environment in 1997-98 and reported in 1999. Results indicated that sites varied greatly in response to N fertilizers. Yield range for a 3-4 cut system was between 5.6 and 27 Mg Ha dry matter depending upon site and treatment. Applications N fertilizers in amounts greater than 80 kg ha-1 per harvest (approximately 250 kg ha) rarely improved yield of sudangrass, and contributed significantly to accumulation of nitrates in the forage. On several sites, initial applications of N were unnecessary due to residual supplies. A study of sampling methodology including big-bale (eg 1 ton bales) was conducted in Bakersfield and showed a high level of variability within big bales, but no significant difference in the average of the ends or the middle of the bales. This study indicates that a high number of samples (20 cores), with several taken from ends of each bale to be important in sampling big hay bales.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Putnam, D. B. Williams, W. Graves, L. Gibbs and G. Peterson. 1999. The Potential of Berseem Clover Varieties for California. In 29th California Alfalfa Symposium. 8-9 December, 1999, Fresno, CA. University of California Alfalfa Workgroup, Department of Agronmy and Range Science, University of California.
  • Orloff, S., D. Putnam, T. Ackerly, and Shu Geng. 1999. Big Bales, Small Bales, and Sampling Location: Are there differences? In. 29th California Alfalfa Symposium. 8-9 December, 1999, Fresno, CA. University of California Alfalfa Workgroup, Department of Agronmy and Range Science, University of California.
  • Putnam, D., G. Peterson, L. Gibbs, K. Taggard, L. Teuber, S. Orloff, T. Ackerly, and D. Kirby. 2000. 1999 Alfalfa Cultivar yield and Fall Dormancy Trial Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 267. January, 2000. Deartment of Agrnonomy and Range Scienc, University of California.
  • Putnam, D.H. 1999. Management of Nitrogen Fertilization in Sudangrass. Proc. 7th Annuall Fertilizer Research and Education Program Conference. 30 Nov., 1999, Modesto, CA. California Department of Food and Agriculture.
  • Putnam, D.H., W.A. Williams, W. Graves, T. Ackerly, L. Givbbs, G. Peterson. 1999. Environmental and Cultivar Effects on Berseem Clover Yield, Foprage Quality, and Disease Response. Agronomy Abstracts. 91st Annual Meeting American Society of Agronomy Oct 31-Nov 4, 1999. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI.


Progress 01/01/98 to 12/31/98

Outputs
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) cultivars were conducted in 6 trials throughout California. Yields averaged 7.0 t/a (5 year old trial), and 7.6 t/a (1st year trial) at Tulelake (Intermountain area), 7.4 t/a (semidormant trial) at Davis (Sacramento Valley), 12.6 t/a at Kearney, 12.3 t/a at West Side (San Joaquin Valley), and 12.7 t/a in the Imperial trials (Imperial Valley). Forage quality of alfalfa cultivars was evaluated over 3 years in our trials (1994-1996) using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. A study of the diurnal changes in forage quality was completed in 1998, and showed considerable evidence for lower Acid Detergent Fiber concentrations and lower Crude Protein concentrations in afternoon harvests, using oven-dried samples collected every 2 hours on a 24 hour cycle at 4 California locations. Field dried samples (to simulate windrows), indicated similar trends but smaller, more variable effects. Tef (Eregrostis tef) is being evaluated as a forage crop, with multi-year results pending. A 2-year study on N-use in Sudangrass (Sorghum Bicolor) indicated that yields were rarely increased at application rates of over 70lbs N/acre, but nitrate concentration of forage was increased significantly at high N rates. Research on adaptation and water-use efficiency of berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) was conducted from 1997, and is continuing. Yields of berseem clover at Davis were 5-7 t/a, whereas berseem performs very well in the desert regions of California (yields of 7-9 t/a), harvested through July.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Putnam, D.H., et al. Diurnal Changes in Alfalfa Forage Quality. In Proceedings 28th CA/NV Alfalfa Symposium, 3-4 December, 1998. Reno, NV. UC Coop. Extn., Univ. of California, Davis.
  • Putnam, D., Peterson, G., Gibbs, L., Taggard, K., Teuber, L., Orloff, S., and Kirby, D. 1998 Alfalfa Cultivar Forage Production and Fall Dormancy Trial Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 263 Agronomy and Range Science Dept., UC Davis.
  • Ayisi, K.K., Putnam, D.H., Vance, C.P., Russelle, M.P., and Allan, D.L. 1997. Strip Intercropping and N effects on seed, oil, and protein yields of canola and soybean. Agronomy Journal 81:23-29.
  • Putnam, D., Peterson, G., Taggard, K., Teuber, L., Orloff, S., Gibbs, L., Kallenbach, R., & Kirby, D. 1997. 1997 Alfalfa Cultivar Forage Production and Fall Dormancy Trial Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 260. December, 1997. UC Davis.
  • Putnam, D., Lamb, C., Peterson, G., Orloff, S., and Kirby, D. 1996 Alfalfa Cultivar Forage Quality Trial Results. Agronomy Progress Report No. 261. December, 1997. Agronomy and Range Science Dept., Univ. of California, Davis 95616.