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Kansas Forage and Grasslands Council to host Field Day for Alfalfa Producers
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This week will be an important event in Pawnee County. The Alfalfa field Day. As Alfalfa is an important crop produced in Barton County, and insurance coverage is lacking, I would like to share a piece by Jenni Carr, Harper County Agriculture and Natural Resource agent that will give you more information regarding the event. The field day and listening session will be held on Sept. 17th. All Barton County producers may find the field day and listening session beneficial to their production.
The revitalized Kansas Forage and Grasslands Council (KSFGC) is hosting a summer field day geared towards alfalfa producers. With Kansas having 550,243 acres of alfalfa (NASS 2013) and alfalfa being the nation’s 4th most valuable field crop; alfalfa crop insurance is at the top of the agenda.
The field day will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sept 17, 9.5 miles south of Larned on K-19 highway at the intersection of County Road D. Activities will include research plot tours, presentations on variety selection, reduced lignin updates, managing nutritional quality as well as listening sessions for producers to provide input on the alfalfa crop insurance and a free lunch.
The current Farm Bill provided language allocating funding to gather input from producers concerning the possible inclusion of alfalfa in the federal crop insurance program.  U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) was very instrumental in this process.
To further this process RMA has hired a contractor to hold listening sessions and assist with the development of crop insurance that better meets the needs of alfalfa and alfalfa/grass mixture producers. The contractor Agrilytica will be on hand to receive producer input which is critical to improve the safety net of alfalfa producers.
Jenni Carr, Ag & Natural Resources agent with K-State Research and Extension, who is the executive secretary of the KSFGC says she’s hoping that hay and forage growers from Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri are able to attend and participate. She says “Kansas is one of only four listening sessions to be held nationwide, with the next closest being Wisconsin.”  
KSFGC board member Darrin Unruh, a hay grower involved in the field day planning is excited about the opportunity for producers to have their voices heard. “It’s a fabulous opportunity for producers” he says, “we can provide our input on this potentially new program.  With Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas combined having over 900,000 acres in alfalfa production Central Kansas was an ideal location for this event.
Registration is not required for the Sept. 17, gathering but organizers would appreciate RSVPs so they can order enough food and materials. Call Carr at 620-842-5445 or email if you plan to attend. For more information about KFGC or to become a member, visit
Alicia Boor is the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Barton County K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at or calling 620-793-1910