Leafhopper Resistant Varieties in Sustainable Production of Alfalfa (Grant) Back »

This program plan was written collaboratively by Karla Hernandez (former SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist), Anitha Chirumamilla (former SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist) and Ada Szczepaniec (former SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist).

Educational Goals:

This program will provide information of the viability of using potato leafhopper resistant varieties in South Dakota. Evaluation of economic and environmental benefits of this resistant varieties will be essential to determine which species develop better than others at two different locations in South Dakota. Other educational goals involve: long-term educational plots; forage and alfalfa workshops for winter season; Integrated Pest Management (IPM) bit for alfalfa in general (flip book with pests, beneficial insects, and possible thresholds in alfalfa); and information on the quality components of alfalfa combined with yield production over a period of three years.

Program Justification:

At this moment, there is still much to learn about the performance of alfalfa new varieties and how develops with potato leafhopper (PLH) infestations. There is clearly a great potential to benefit alfalfa growers in their production, management, and economical aspects of long term production. This program in SDSU will address producer needs differently than other public or private programs by developing over time research, which will give a greater chance to approach to real problems.

Target Audience:

Alfalfa and dairy producers through the eastern and western part of the State of South Dakota.

Public and Private Value:

Private value (short term desired outcome): I expect around 150 people (plus or minus) to participate in future workshops, presentations, meetings and SDSU field days (e.g., long term demo plots) related to Forage production in South Dakota which will increase the knowledge of producers, agronomic professionals, and other audience interested in this subject. Public value (long term desired outcome) will involve development of extension-research based on forage program in South Dakota, which will increase participant's knowledge in the area of forage production and management. For this project, the main interest is to evaluate alfalfa varieties and leafhopper resistance, which will help to address some of the major concerns of producers when taking harvest cuts and how this insect affects yield production and quality over time.

Program Delivery:

Key components of the curriculum and teaching plan involve: (1) Information for the viability of using resistant varieties of potato leafhoppers in alfalfa throughout the state of South Dakota; (2) Forage and alfalfa production workshops for the winter months (could also include power point presentations); (3) Information on the quality of alfalfa at two different locations (pre harvest and post harvest). In person delivery components are: South Dakota State University-Forage Field Day with small presentations and demonstration of long-term demo plots at two locations in South Dakota. Technology based components include: presentations of work development and updates through local newspapers, iGrow radio, iGrow articles, and radio stations (Brookings and Watertown). End-user products will be forage/alfalfa producers as well as dairy and beef cattle producers in South Dakota. However, this information might be used in other states as research references.

Resources Needed:

(a) Pre and post survey for producers; (b) Focus on forage fact sheets and publications; (c) update on alfalfa yield and persistence for 2014; (d) update on alfalfa quality values; (e) Educational teaching materials in a Power Point format based on preliminary and final results.

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