Louisiana Beef Producers Seek Help, Hay
Southwestern and south-central Louisiana beef cattle
producers have endured a devastating hit from Hurricane Rita, reports Ed
Twidwell, Louisiana State University extension forage specialist. "Many
livestock producers are without hay and fencing materials," Twidwell
says. He's asking the nation's hay and livestock producers to consider
lending a hand with this dire situation.
The Louisiana Ag Summary suggests that over 175,000 cows reside in the
hardest-hit parishes. Although information is still somewhat vague due
to communication difficulties, LSU officials know that thousands of beef
cattle are stranded and without hay and fresh water. Early reports
suggest that, in Cameron Parish, 3,000-4,000 cattle are in need of hay
and water and 4,000 may have been killed. Likewise, Vermilion Parish was
two-thirds under water as of last week. "A tidal surge wiped out the
lower part of the parish, drowning many cattle and displacing thousands
more," reports Howard Cormier, an extension agent in the parish. "We're
working to get cattle out of flooded areas. Many are along roadsides.
Abortions are common, as cattle drink salty water and deal with stress
and hunger." Up to 10,000 head of cattle are in need of feed and water
in that area as well. "We're in need of hay to feed the cattle on higher
ground. If anyone can donate round bales, please let us know," Cormier
Louisiana officials are seeking veterinary supplies, round bales, range
cubes, portable corrals and fencing equipment. Staging areas for beef
cattle relief have been set up at five locations in southwestern
Louisiana. If you or someone you know is interested in donating hay or
other supplies, please contact Jason Rowntree of the LSU Agricultural
Center at 225-578-3345 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or
call Cormier at 337-898-4335 to ask about the emergency effort.
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Energy Prices Cause Big Income
The Red River Farm Network reports that North Dakota
State University ag economists Richard Taylor and Won Koo have studied
the impact of the recent surge in energy prices on farm income. In
April, NDSU estimated that rising energy prices would cost the average
North Dakota producer between $18 and $22 an acre. Since May, gasoline
prices have increased about 49% and diesel prices are up 56%. Nitrogen
fertilizer prices are 8% higher and phosphorus is about 10% higher. The
estimated average net farm income has been reduced almost $20,000 from
May to August. The NDSU study says the full impact of rising energy
prices will be felt next year.
Source: North Dakota State University and Red River Farm Network.
Slugs Damage Fall-Planted Alfalfa
Older slugs are causing problems in some Ohio alfalfa
fields, according to Ron Hammond, Ohio State University extension
entomologist. "Although most slug problems are from juvenile slugs
occurring in spring, we have observed significant feeding by adult slugs
in fall plantings of alfalfa and winter wheat when either was no-till
planted," Hammond states. "Thus, no-till growers who have planted either
crop should check their fields and take corrective action if slugs are
active and reducing stands."
Even if producers don't see slug feeding this fall, they should inspect
all their fields in preparation for 2006. "The coming months are the
time periods when growers should begin scouting their fields for slug
populations for next year," Hammond says. "While we do not have
thresholds, sampling will indicate whether a field has a small or large
slug population," he says. A large population will help indicate which
fields need extra monitoring next spring.
Hammond says there are a number of ways to sample for slugs. The main
technique is to place wood boards or roofing shingles on the ground
across the field and check them weekly throughout the fall. Count the
number of adult slugs underneath the traps. "It's best to count the
slugs in the morning," Hammond notes. He recommends setting 10 traps per
"Other ways of determining if fields have a lot of slugs is by visiting
the fields in late evening before dusk or early in the morning during
periods of heavy dew or fog," he explains. "Slugs will often be crawling
on the plants -- especially corn -- if not yet harvested. Growers are
also advised to look underneath the leaves of larger weeds that are
covering the ground. Numerous slugs are often found.
Although no economic thresholds are available, fields with large slug
populations should be monitored more closely next spring. "Fields with
low numbers, while still needing sampling next spring, can be a lower
priority," Hammond states.
Contact Hammond at 330-263-3727.
Source: Ohio State University.
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Pennsylvania Hay Auction Report
A total of 68 loads sold at last week's A&C Diffenbach
Hay Auction in New Holland, PA. Alfalfa averaged $138/ton, with a high
of $205. Mixed hay averaged $130/ton, with a high of $165. Timothy
reached a high of $185 and averaged $147. Orchardgrass hay peaked at
$155 and averaged $125. The top and averages prices for straw were $195
and $146, respectively.
Hay auctions are held Mondays at 10 a.m. Contact A&C Diffenbach Auction
at 717-355-7253, or visit www.acauction.net.
New seedings of alfalfa and other legumes have been
getting off to a slow start due to a very dry September in Oklahoma,
reports John Caddel, Oklahoma State University forage agronomist.
There's a lot of interest in Roundup Ready alfalfa in Oklahoma and
producers who've been able to get seed are hoping to have enough
moisture to get stands established. "Over 90% of our acreage is
fall-planted in the state and I hope producers who planted the new seed
were able to get rain," says Caddell. "In Oklahoma we need to have
alfalfa up by Oct. 1 to really be assured we're going to have a good
crop next year. We've had some rains, but they have been spotty."
High fertilizer prices are causing producers to take a close look at
which grass pastures and hay meadows to fertilize. "I think producers
are trying to decide how much they can cut back on nitrogen use while
still getting good yields and quality," he says.
Caddel expects overall hay supplies to be a bit light because eastern
Oklahoma was particularly dry, most likely impacting grass hay
production. He thinks there will be a good supply of alfalfa hay in the
USDA reports that premium-quality alfalfa hay in large and small square
bales is selling for $100-120/ton in central and western Oklahoma.
Good-quality alfalfa is bringing $90-110/ton in large square bales;
$100-110 in small square bales. Good large round alfalfa bales are
selling for $80-90. Fair-quality alfalfa is selling for $70-85 in large
square bales; $70-80 in large rounds.
Premium-quality grass hay is bringing $70-80/ton in large and small
square bales; $60-70 in large rounds. Good-quality small squares of
grass hay are selling for $65-75; good-quality large rounds, for
Contact Caddel at 405-744-9643.
Hurricane Rita battered southeastern Texas with strong
winds and rain, but producers in other areas of the state were left high
and dry, according to Texas Cooperative Extension. Many places in
eastern Texas had no electricity following the storm, as trees and
powerlines had fallen. Diesel fuel is hard to find, and even when
available, there is a lack of electricity to pump it. Hay production
ceased completely in the southeastern part of the state. Meanwhile, in
many parts of northern and western Texas, livestock and crop producers
face record-high temperatures and continuing drought. Producers in
northern Texas are worried about a possible hay shortage this fall and
"We have to delay the production of forage until we get enough rain,
which is a tough deal when you have stocker cattle to feed," reports
Billy Warrick, extension agronomist in San Angelo. "The rangeland is not
green anymore, but crunchy and brown. There are plenty of challenges to
face in solving this problem." Cattle producers without sufficient hay
supplies will have to buy it or send cattle somewhere else, says
In drought-choked southwestern Texas, many producers have already sent
their cattle to Colorado or northwestern Texas. "Ranchers realize there
is not enough forage available, so they're selling livestock or sending
them to places where forage is available," says Jose Pena, extension
economist in Uvalde. "Reports indicate that some forage is available in
Northwestern Texas and Colorado. We're expecting more hot weather, but
even if it starts raining right now, it would take a long time for grass
to grow tall enough so cattle could graze it. We would need at least 40
or 45 days of moist soil conditions." Dry conditions have lasted all
summer in southwestern Texas. Historically, April, May and September
receive the most significant rainfall. Pena says the area received
below-average rainfall in April and May, and less than 0.1" in
Dry conditions have caused energy consumption to increase because
producers must irrigate. "Energy costs for production and irrigation
have increased immensely," Pena says. "If we could get some rain this
fall, it would really reduce irrigation costs." The weather service
predicts that many parts of northern, southern and eastern Texas will
continue to endure fairly high temperatures.
Some west-central Texas hayfields were recently sprayed for armyworms.
Hay cutting and baling continued last week. Ranges and pastures were
extremely dry. Soil moisture is very short in central Texas. Unusually
hot and dry weather was reported last week. Dairy cows suffered due to
high nighttime temperatures. Producers prepared to plant wheat and
ryegrass last week, and most were waiting for rain.
USDA reports that hay supplies in Texas are light to moderate overall,
with some producers noting very limited supplies to be stored for
winter. Some have started selling only to established customers.
Contact Warrick at 325-653-4576 or email@example.com, and Pena at
830- 278-9151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Register For Hay Business Conference
Don't forget to register for the 2005 Western Hay
Business Conference and Expo, Nov. 29-30 in Loveland, CO. It will be
held at The Ranch conference facility in Loveland. Learn more about the
conference and register by calling Cindy Kramer at 952-851-4698, or by
visiting the conference Web site at www.hayconference.com.
**Oct. 4-8 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,
WI. Visit www.world-dairy-expo.com/.
**Oct. 15 -- Oregon Hay King Contest, Jefferson County
Fairgrounds, Madras. Contact Mylen Bohle at 541-447-6228.
**Oct. 31-Nov.4 -- Pacific Northwest Forage Worker's Conference,
Research and Extension Center, Prosser, WA. Contact Mylen Bohle at
541-447-6228 or Steve Fransen at 509-786-9266.
**Nov. 21-22 -- Iowa Forage and Grassland Council Annual Meeting,
Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn. Contact Joan O'Brien at 800-383-1682.
**Nov. 29-30 -- Western Hay Business Conference and Expo, The
Ranch, Loveland, CO. Learn more by calling Cindy Kramer at 952-851-4698,
or by visiting the conference Web site at www.hayconference.com.
**Dec. 2 -- Sheep and Meat Goat Training Program, Kirksville, MO.
Contact Bruce Lane at 660-665-9866 or Garry Mathes at 660-665-7049. Or
go to missourilivestock.com and click on Sheep and Meat Goat
**Dec. 2-3 -- Missouri Livestock Symposium, Kirksville. Programs
on sheep, meat goats, stock and guard dogs, horses, beef cattle,
forages, swine, crops and more. Name entertainment and trade show.
Details at missourilivestock.com, or call Bruce Lane at
660-665-9866 or Garry Mathes at 660-665-7049.
**Dec. 6-7 -- Midwest Dairy Expo, St. Cloud Civic Center, St.
Cloud, MN. The 2005 expo features nationally known speakers, educational
programs and exhibits of dairy supplies and services. Contact trade show
coordinator Eir Garcia-Silva of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association
at 320-203-8336 or visit email@example.com.
**Dec. 7-8 -- Midwest Forage Association Farm Bill Forum and Research
Summit, Holiday Inn Select, Minneapolis, MN. Contact Midwest Forage
Association at 651-484-3888.
**Dec 12-14 -- California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Trade
Show, Visalia. Learn more at alfalfa.ucdavis.edu or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Dec. 15 -- Alabama Forage Conference, Troy. Learn more at www.alabamaforages.com or call Don Ball at
**Jan. 18-19 -- Washington State Hay Growers Association Convention
and Trade Show, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick. Learn
more at www.wa-hay.org.
**Jan. 19-20 -- Southwest Hay Conference & Trade Show, Ruidoso
Convention Center, Ruidoso, NM. Learn more at email@example.com, or call 505-626-5677 or
**Jan. 25-26 -- Heart of America Grazing Conference, Cave City,
KY. Call 270-365-7541.
**Feb. 7-8 -- Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association's Mid-America
Alfalfa Expo, Kearney. Contact Barb Kinnan at 800-743-1649 or visit
**Feb. 23 -- Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Lexington. Contact
Garry Lacefield at 270-365-7541, ext. 202.
**Feb. 27-28 -- Idaho Hay and Forage Association Meeting, Red
Lion Canyon Springs Hotel, Twin Falls. Learn more at www.idahohay.com/.
**Mar. 10-14 -- 2006 American Forage and Grassland Council
Conference, Westin Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX. Learn more at
www.afgc.org, or call
Dana Tucker at 800-944-2342.
**March 14-15 -- Midwest Hay Business Conference and Expo,
Ramkota Hotel, Sioux Falls, SD. Sponsored by Hay & Forage
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