Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Haymakers ready for Roundup Ready

In the photos, from the top, UC-Davis alfalfa and forage specialist Dan Putnam talks about whether conventional and Roundup Ready alfalfa can coexist (they can, with certain caveats); Hay market expert Seth Hoyt (left) talks to a hay farmer; and a truck hauls a load of hay on Interstate 5.

Today I went to a crops seminar in Yreka sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension. Much of the discussion centered on alfalfa, which is a key crop in Siskiyou County.

The use of genetically enhanced alfalfa figures to take off again now that a federal judge has rejected allegations by biotech critics that USDA violated environmental laws by fully deregulating transgenic alfalfa. Putnam described conditions under which that growers can use it and keep it from contaminating nearby conventional and organic fields.

Hoyt predicted hay prices will hold steady in 2012, buoyed by strong exports, although the dairy industry's overproduction of milk at the moment could put downward pressure on demand.

For my two stories from the seminar, check CapitalPress.com soon.

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