NMSU, NM Hay Association to host conference in Ruidoso Jan. 30-31

RUIDOSO – Hay and forage fuels the livestock industry of New Mexico and the Southwest. It is critical for growers to produce a highly nutritional feed economically. Staying abreast of the latest advances in the hay industry is one way for growers to prosper

The annual Southwest Hay & Forage Conference provides vital information for growers. The 2020 conference will be Thursday and Friday, Jan. 30-31, at the Ruidoso Convention Center.

“This conference will address some of the more common issues that growers face on a daily basis, equipment challenges, management of water and controlling pests,” said Mark Marsalis, New Mexico State University Extension forage specialist.

The conference, sponsored by the New Mexico Hay Association and NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, is targeted toward Southwestern hay, silage and pasture producers, with information specific to the unique growing conditions and water issues in the region.

“We’ve assembled a broad range of forage knowledge and expertise from universities, crop consultants and industry interests across the United States,” Marsalis said. “The conference provides a great opportunity for producers to bring their questions directly to consultants, industry representatives, researchers and specialists, all in one place.

This year, the conference will have two special equipment debuts.

First, Grady Press Trailers of Farmington will be debuting their production model “Twin Pak” Double Small Baler. This machine and has the potential to greatly improve efficiency of small baling operations.

Secondly, Staheli West will be showcasing a preview of the new small bale steamer, a highly sought-after alternative to their large steamers for small bale producers.
In addition, specialists from across the western U.S. will share their experiences of producing forages in challenging environmental and economic conditions.

Irrigation-related presentations will include:
– Water Wells & Pump Efficiency by Chance Coats, Coats Pump & Supply in Dexter.

–    Soil Moisture Monitoring: Go Underground with AquaSpy by Russ Hodges, AquaSpy.

–    Economic / Market Outlook in a Water-short Region by George Frisvold, University of Arizona Extension.

“Each year, various pests in the form of insects, weeds and vertebrate pests cost New Mexico hay growers millions of dollars. It is important that growers understand the pests that they are dealing with and the management options that are available to them,” said Marsalis. “This year’s program will have several presenters to address this.”

Pest-related presentations will include:

– Weed Update & On Going Herbicide Research by Leslie Beck, NMSU Extension weed specialist.
– Forage Insect Pest Update by Pat Porter, Texas AgriLife Extension.
– Pesticide & Regulatory Update by Steve Baca, New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

– Glyphosate: History, Challenges, Concerns by Russ Perkins, Bayer Crop Science.

–    Rodent/Wildlife Control by Jon Grant, U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS-WS.Other presentations include:

– Twin Pak Double Small Baler Debut by Jason Grady, Grady Press Trailers, Farmington.

– Mobile/Internet/Consulting Technologies by James Todd, Todd Ag Consulting, Plainview, TX

– Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers: Yield and Environmental Considerations by Bryan Hopkins, Brigham Young University.

– Legislative Update by representative of New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau representative

Participants will have opportunities to hear from ag-industry representatives on the latest chemical, seed, equipment and other products available during two industry update sessions.

Following a social hour and dinner Thursday evening, family-friendly comedian Larry Weaver will provide the after-dinner entertainment.

Back by popular demand, this year’s program will include a special spouses’ interest session, “Painting with Peggy Krantz.” Krantz is a local New Mexico artist who hosts “paint parties” for those who wish to learn how to paint and hone their skills in a fun and relaxing environment. An afternoon session will be available on Thursday, Jan. 30, for just $30 per person.

The two-day conference will host a machinery trade show, featuring the latest in farm equipment, as well as booths with various seed, chemical, irrigation and fertilizer products and natural resource planning related information.

The New Mexico Hay Association board of directors meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the MCM Elegante Lodge & Resort, formerly the Lodge of Sierra Blanca, and again immediately following the conference.

Five New Mexico pesticide applicator continuing education units have been approved for this meeting. Texas and Arizona CEUs have been approved also.

Preregistration is $125 per person before Dec. 31. Attendees can register at the door for $150. Annual membership dues to the association are $55.

Register online at: http://www.nmhay.com/2020-conference.html. Registration includes the two-day conference, two meals, snacks, door prizes, educational materials and entertainment.


On-site registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Convention Center. The conference adjourns at noon Friday.

Lodging is available, at a discount, adjacent to the Ruidoso Convention Center at the MCM Elegante Lodge & Resort, formerly the Lodge at Sierra Blanca. A number of rooms are reserved at a special rate. To obtain a reservation, online at: http://www.mcmeleganteruidoso.com/, or call 866-211-7727

For more information on the conference, including a full agenda, visit http://www.nmhay.com or http://forages.nmsu.edu or contact Cassie Bussey by phone at 575-626-1688 or by e-mail at nmhay@yahoo.com. Registration forms are available online at http://www.nmhay.com.