Weekly: Brought to you by Hay & Forage
 Hay & Forage
 USDA Hay Prices
 A Primedia Property October 11, 2005 |  
High School Senior Wins Forage Superbowl
Top of the News Fuel Prices Concern Hay Producers, Customers
State Reports Nebraska South Dakota Wyoming
Events Register For Hay Business Conference Calendar
Comments from Readers Send Questions & Comments To...

This Week's USDA Hay Prices by State

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High School Senior Wins Forage Superbowl
Jacob Kamps, Darlington, WI, has won the 2005 World's Forage Analysis Superbowl. He and other winners were honored at a luncheon during last week's World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI. This year's winning hay sample tested 26.3% crude protein, 19% ADF, 24% NDF and 69.2% NDF digestibility. Its relative forage quality score was 344 and its calculated milk production per ton was 3,962 lbs. The variety was LegenDairy YPQ.

Kamps and his parents, Dan and Ruth, and brother Joshua have dominated the contest's commercial hay and baleage categories in recent years. Jacob also finished ninth in commercial baleage this year. Dan and Ruth placed fourth and eighth in that category, and Joshua came in third. Joshua also placed second in commercial hay. The Kamps family raises corn, soybeans and 600 acres of alfalfa. Jacob is a high school senior. Joshua graduated from college last year and now farms full-time with his parents and brother.

Other category winners in this year's superbowl:

Commercial hay: Harlan Fegler, Casper, WY.

Dairy hay: Mike Beun, Waterloo, WI.

Dairy haylage: Fanfare Farms, Monticello, IA.

Commercial baleage: John Mast, Arcola, IL.

Champion first-time entrant: West Vale-Vu Dairy, Nashville, MI.

A full listing of finalists will be posted on later this week.

The World's Forage Analysis Superbowl is sponsored by Hay & Forage Grower magazine, AgSource Cooperative Services, DairyBusiness Communications, World Dairy Expo and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Top of the News
Fuel Prices Concern Hay Producers, Customers
High fuel prices were the main topic of conversation among hay producers and customers at hay marketing group exhibit booths during last week's World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI. Barb Kinnan, executive director, Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (NAMA), says dairy hay customers are gathering information about how freight costs are going to figure into their winter feed budgets. Amy Freeburg, Freeburg Hay, Gayville, SD, also noticed a lot of information-gathering going on as people stopped at the National Hay Association booth. "People are trying to assess the best-quality hay they can get for their dollar," Freeburg says. "I expect to see a huge difference in the amount of disposable income customers will be able to spend on hay when they have to cover both fuel and heating costs this winter."

Steve Rice, a hay producer from Wilsonville, NE, says fuel costs impact almost every aspect of the hay business he runs with his brother, Scott. "It costs us more at almost every step in the production process, whether it's driving from the field to the barn, running the swather and baler and especially the cost of irrigation," he notes. Unfortunately, some of those costs have to be passed on to customers. "Last year, freight costs ran between $1.30 and $1.40/mile to deliver hay to our customers. This year, right before World Dairy Expo freight costs were running $1.60/mile, and the week right after expo, they had risen to $1.65." he says. "You have to wonder about the dairies' capacity to tolerate the increased prices. It has to be especially hard on smaller dairy producers." The Rice brothers typically deliver their hay to dairies in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin and New York.

"Freight costs are going to have hay customers sharpening their pencils before committing to a load," says Scott Keith, Wyoming Business Council, Casper. "Many of our hay producers are reporting at least a $20/ton increase in freight costs over last year's figure. Hay producers are going to have to look for backhaul opportunities to help offset some of the costs."

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State Reports
There is a steady demand for dairy hay this season, reports Barb Kinnan of NAMA. "We have been seeing more demand activity earlier than we would have in a typical year," she says. "A lot of our customer inquiries right now are from people trying to figure out how freight is going to impact pricing. People are not locking in their hay needs in large levels yet."

Steve and Scott Rice, Wilsonville, NE, were working with Kinnan to promote Nebraska hay at the expo. "We had a dry year overall," Steve says. The first crop was looking good early in the season, but was hit by a late freeze. The hay still tested well, but was hard to store, he adds. The Rice brothers did put up good second- and third-cutting hay. Demand has been good, Scott reports, although fuel prices continue to be a concern.

The Rice brothers bought some Roundup Ready alfalfa seed this fall. "We decided to take advantage of the new Roundup Ready technology to help deal with a persistent problem we've been having with water hemp (hybrid pigweed) in our fourth-cutting alfalfa," Steve explains.

NAMA also promotes Nebraska hay at major trade shows in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and California. Its producer members can also make use of the NAMA Web site,, to help market hay.

Contact Kinnan to learn more about NAMA at 800-743-1649. Contact Steve or Scott Rice at 308-349-4231.

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South Dakota
Hay producers Amy and Gary Freeburg, staffing the National Hay Association (NHA) booth at the expo, talked to a number of potential customers. "Many people at this show are starting to assess their winter hay needs," Amy says.

It was a good hay year in South Dakota despite a cold, wet spring that got things off to a slow start, she says.. "We had lots of rain in June and that slowed down the first cut. Then we didn't get any rain in July in our area, so our second cutting went up beautifully. The color of the hay is very good this year."

The Freeburgs attended the recent NHA annual meeting in Lexington, KY. "As we talked to other hay producers there, it seems that warmer-than-usual was the nationwide phenomenon this year," Amy says. "Winterkill was a problem in parts of the Upper Midwest, and then many parts of Wisconsin got hit with dry weather. Hay demand seems to be up as a result."

Freeburg Hay is in southeastern South Dakota. Gary and Amy work with sons John and Jory and family friends Tom and Jeff Dreesen, growing alfalfa and mixed grass hays. The company markets around 35,000 tons of hay per year. Learn more by visiting, or call 605-267-4426.

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Most of Wyoming experienced a decent hay-growing season this year, says Scott Keith, Wyoming Business Council, Casper. Keith and Bill Reed, a hay producer from Alcova, WY, and Ervin Gara, a producer from Torrington, WY, answered questions about their state's hay at the expo. "We had a cold, late spring that caused some of the first cutting to be light on tonnage," Keith reports. "Then most producers had excellent second and third cuttings." Keith says producers are glad to be coming out of a seven-year drought. They're also hoping for good snow-pack this winter to replenish irrigation water supplies.

Hay demand has been steady in the state. "Milk prices have been good, so dairy producers have had more money to spend, plus demand is picking up for horse hay," he says. Wyoming hay growers had a strong showing in the Commercial Hay division of the World's Forage Analysis Superbowl. Harlan Fegler, Arapahoe, won the division, and Reed claimed fifth place.

Learn more about Wyoming hay by contacting Keith at 307-237-4696.

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Trust us. Your cows will thank you for it.

Treat your alfalfa with SENCOR® Herbicide. It takes care of winter annuals that can seriously reduce nutritional value. So you get hay that's worth more and you'll get the kind of quality cuttings cows can really sink their teeth into.
Register For Hay Business Conference
The 2005 Western Hay Business Conference and Expo offers a number of innovative speakers ready to share perspectives on several facets of the hay industry. Experts will talk about designing alfalfa for better performance in dairy rations, offer tips for maximizing hay sales to the horse market, and will address getting the most alfalfa out of the least amount of water. Learn more about the conference topics at The Western Hay Business Conference & Expo convenes Nov. 29-30 at The Ranch conference facility in Loveland, CO. Learn more about the conference, find contact information for local hotels and complete your registration by calling Cindy Kramer at 952-851-4698, or by visiting the conference Web site at

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**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

**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 and click on Sheep and Meat Goat Training Program.

**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, 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

**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. 7-8 -- Manitoba Grazing School, Keystone Centre, Brandon. Contact Marc Boulanger, Manitoba Agriculture, at 204-889-5699.

**Dec 12-14 -- California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium and Trade Show, Visalia. Learn more at or contact

**Dec. 15 -- Alabama Forage Conference, Troy. Learn more at or call Don Ball at 334-844-5491.

**Jan. 18-19 -- Washington State Hay Growers Association Convention and Trade Show, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick. Learn more at

**Jan. 19-20 -- Southwest Hay Conference & Trade Show, Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, NM. Learn more at, or call 505-626-5677 or 505-622-8080.

**Jan. 25-26 -- Heart of America Grazing Conference, Cave City, KY. Call 270-365-7541.

**Jan. 31- Feb. 1 -- Midwest Forage Association 2006 Symposium and Annual Meeting, Stoney Creek Inn, Mosinee, WI. Call MFA at 651-484-3888.

**Feb. 3 -- Northern Indiana Grazing Conference, Shipshewana. Call 260-463-3471, ext. 3.

**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

**Mar. 10-14 -- 2006 American Forage and Grassland Council Conference, Westin Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX. Learn more at, 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 Grower.

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Comments from Readers
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Lora Berg, Editor, eHay Weekly,

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