D. K. Barnes

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The 27th National Alfalfa Improvement Conference (NAIC) met at the Sheraton Inn, Madison, Wisconsin. The conference was opened by Dr. E. L. Sorensen, chairman of the NAIC. Dr. L.M. Walsh, Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin, welcomed the participants and briefly described the importance of alfalfa to Midwest agriculture. He mentioned that the Wisconsin average forage yield for alfalfa had been slow to increase. He attributed some of this to the type of land that was planted to alfalfa. According to Walsh, alfalfa will be a key factor in in-creasing U.S. and world food production. Increased fertility levels will be an important future input to alfalfa production. Marketing and utilization will need to be improved so that alfalfa can go into commodity markets much like grains. Problems in soil productivity, i.e., high erosion rates, are increasing due to maximum production problems of row crops. Therefore, there will be an increasing need for forage species, primarily alfalfa to protect soil resources. This will require agriculture to have a greater animal base.

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