Attend Western Hay Business Conference and Expo This
Now's the time to make plans to attend the Western Hay
Business Conference and Expo, Nov. 29-30 in Loveland, CO. The innovative
conference is designed specifically for commercial hay growers.
Informational seminars will help hay growers improve marketing skills,
combat rising costs and expand hay sales. Nearly 50 exhibitors will be
available to answer producer questions at the hay industry-specific
Program speakers and topics are:
- Opening an Alfalfa Market in Vietnam -- Ron Anderson, National
Hay Association, Ellensburg, WA
- Designing Specific Hay Products to Boost Hay Sales to the Dairy
and Horse Markets -- Ken Vaupel, president of Alfagreen, Toledo,
- Marketing Bagged Hay Silage to Large Dairies -- Jared Anderson,
hay grower, Haxtun, CO
- Demand for Organic Hay Soars, But Is It Worth the Trouble? --
Bill Wailes, Colorado State University (CSU) dairy specialist; and
Barney Little, hay buyer for Aurora Organic Dairy
- Selling to the Fast-Growing Horse Market -- Tim Stanton, CSU
feedlot specialist; and Don Kurtz, Colorado hay grower
- Designing Alfalfa for Better Performance in Dairy Rations --
Joe Bouton, director of the Noble Foundation's Forage Improvement
Division; and Mike Velde, alfalfa breeder, Dairyland Seed
- Getting the Most Alfalfa Out of the Least Water -- Dan Smith,
agronomist with CSU's Extension Service
- Computerize Your Hay Business -- Fred Darland, Hay Software
Inc., Mendocino, CA
- Ready or Not, Roundup Ready Alfalfa Is Here, But Is It Right
for You? -- Bob Wilson, weed specialist, Panhandle Experiment Station,
Scottsbluff, NE; and Mark McCaslin, president of Forage
- Conservation-Friendly Seedbed Establishment -- Bob Wilson, weed
specialist, Panhandle Experiment Station; and Bob Leonard, hay grower,
The conference will be held at the Ranch Event Center. The cost to
attend is $150. Call 1-800-722-5334 to register, or go to www.hayconference.com.
- RFV Vs RFQ and Ways Around Variable Lab Tests -- Glenn
Shewmaker, extension forage specialist, Idaho State University; and Don
Meyer, president of Rock River Laboratory, Watertown, WI
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. www.bayercropscienceus.com
New Texas Center For Equine Business Studies Is
Texas A&M University recently announced plans to create
a new Center for Equine Business Studies. Its purpose: to establish a
national horse inventory database and conduct research and analysis on
the $112 billion industry. The center will be part of the Texas A&M
University System Agriculture Program and be headquartered on the
College Station campus.
At this time, says Ernie Davis, Texas A&M professor emeritus and center
director, "there's no inventory data for horses. It's the only major
agricultural commodity that doesn't have market data reports." Besides
data studies, the center will be doing economic impact studies for
legislation, and look at other variables, such as the cost of preventing
diseases and determining if prevention is greater than the cost of the
disease," Davis adds.
The U.S. is home to about 7.1 million horse owners. The equine industry
has been fueled by increased participation in pleasure riding and
reigning, cutting and team roping, penning and trail riding, Davis says.
"We also plan to conduct demographic research studies to further
evaluate the different types of individuals involved in these
No state or federal funds will go to the center, he said. Membership
fees from equine companies and breed associations would fund the center
and research programs. According to Davis, the new center will be for
all breeds and performance groups.
Contact Davis at 979-845-1705, or email email@example.com.
Source: Texas A& M University.
Edible Foot-And-Mouth-Disease Vaccines, Produced In
Alfalfa, Are Tested
Argentine scientists are experimenting with an edible
"vaccine" in transgenic alfalfa plants that could offer Foot and Mouth
Disease protection, reports the SeedQuest Web site. Vaccines produced in
food crops wouldn't require refrigeration or strict cold storage, making
them stable and ideal for use in developing countries. To date, vaccines
for six infectious diseases: diarrhea, Norwalk virus, respiratory
syncytial virus, rabies, Hepatitis B and measles, have been successfully
expressed in plants.
María J. Dus Santos, Instituto de Virología, and colleagues
from Buenos Aires, Argentina, used Agrobacterium transfer to introduce
the gene for one of the Foot and Mouth Disease virus' proteins into
alfalfa plants. The result: a transgenic alfalfa that produced the virus
polyprotein. Researchers then fed the transgenic crop to mice to induce
a weak immune response in them, prompting the mice to produce antibodies
to the Foot and Mouth Disease virus. When exposed to Foot and Mouth
Disease, none of the mice became infected.
Source: SeedQuest Web site.
2004 Illinois Dairy Producer Profits
The average Illinois dairy producer's pocket was
heavier -- with total returns per cow increasing by $753 in 2004 as
compared to 2003 returns, says Dale Lattz, University of Illinois
extension farm management specialist. Those returns were the second
highest in the last two decades.
"Record-high milk prices more than offset increased costs, resulting in
total returns for dairy producers exceeding total economic costs in
2004," says Lattz. "The average net price received per 100 lbs of milk
in 2004 was $16.37, which was more than the total costs of $15.30. On a
per-cow basis, total returns from milk were $3,189 compared to the total
cost to produce milk of $2,980 per cow." Total returns have exceeded
total economic costs only four times in the past 10 years, he adds.
Milk production per cow averaged 19,480 lbs, 127 lbs more per cow than
was produced in 2003. The average net price received for milk was
$16.37/cwt -- $3.86/cwt, or 31%, higher than the average price received
in 2003. "Based on 19,500 lbs of milk produced per cow, this increase in
price increased total returns per cow by $753," says Lattz. "Dairy
assistance payments from the Farm Service Agency and patronage returns
related to the dairy enterprise were not included in our figures. This
would add about 55 cents/cwt of milk produced to returns."
Producers also faced increased feed and non-feed costs. Feed costs in
2004 averaged $7.61/cwt, compared to $6.95/cwt in 2003. Non-feed costs
were $7.69/cwt in 2004 compared to $6.67 in 2003.
The study was prepared from data generated by the Farm Business Farm
Management Association (FBFM) throughout Illinois. The complete report
can be found online at farmdoc at: www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/enterprisecost_index.html.
Click on "Costs to Produce Milk in Illinois."
Source: University of Illinois.
Looking for a new baler? Look to the
future. New Holland BB-A balers are designed for the highest
capacity baling with innovative options such as the CropCutter™
feeding system for shorter particle length, denser bales and more
digestible feed for livestock. To learn more, see your local New Holland
dealer or call 1-888-290-7377. www.newholland.com/h4/
The recent hurricanes have reduced the horse hay market
in Louisiana, says hay producer James Carroll of Majestic Farms, located
in the northeastern part of the state. "We sold to stables serving the
two racetracks in New Orleans and Lafayette before the hurricanes,"
Carroll explains. "The New Orleans racetrack is gone now. We think it
will come back soon, but for right now we are using what little surplus
hay we have after this dry year for our own breeding stock on our horse
farm." Carroll raises both Quarterhorses and Friesians. He produces
small square bales of Russell bermudagrass tailored specifically to the
He has been frustrated by an unusually dry hay season. "We haven't had a
good rain in northeastern Louisiana since Memorial Day, because the
hurricanes sucked the rain to the south and to the east," he says. "Our
area has been declared a disaster area and we are 80% below our normal
rainfall right now." Carroll says this dry year followed an extremely
wet 2004 haying season. "Last year we only harvested three quality cuts
because we had 48 straight days of over 1" of rain per day. We went from
building an ark last year to a total dust bowl this year," he says. "We
spent the money on fertilizer and nutrients to make the hay what it
needs to be, but without water we don't have the quality we would like
Contact Carroll at 318-235-4401.
Texas cattle producers are already supplementing feed
because of dry pastures in parts of the state, according to the Texas
extension service. Joe Paschal, extension livestock specialist in Corpus
Christi, says many Texas pastures need moisture. "We haven't received
significant rainfall since May," he explains. "Pasture conditions are
pretty poor, and ranchers are already feeding hay."
In southern Texas, enough forage is usually available
until October. But this year feed was supplemented much earlier, Paschal
says. "I've seen a lot of hay moving up and down the highway since
August," he notes. "For two and a half months we've been moving hay
around this country."
Producers should supplement wherever pastures are low to avoid nutrient
deficiency and keep resources intact, Paschal says. "That's the best
thing they can do. If people aren't supplementing, not only are they
hurting their cattle, they are also hurting their pastures. Those cattle
are going to look for something to eat ... they'll tear a pasture down
to dirt if you let them."
Many producers are also considering whether to cull cattle to reduce
feed costs, Paschal said.
Producers in other parts of the state were more fortunate this year.
Late rainfall in most of western Texas helped cattle
operations, says Bruce Carpenter, extension livestock specialist in Fort
Stockton. "There's not much supplemental feeding going on right now," he
says. "We made a pretty good forage crop this summer, and the rains came
along just in time."
Eastern Texas hasn't had any rain since Hurricane Rita
passed over. Burn bans were reinstated in some counties. Winter pasture
planting was on hold until it rained again. Growth was retarded in
planted pastures. Cooler nights slowed warm-season forage growth. Some
producers sold livestock and fed hay. Many hayfields were lost to the
storm and producers are unable to get their last cutting.
In the Texas panhandle region, soil moisture was short to
adequate last week, with above-average temperatures and some reported
rainfall. Corn harvest was 96% complete, with good yields reported. Flea
beetles, armyworms and grasshoppers caused stand loss for some crops.
Rangeland conditions were rated poor to good. Fire danger was high.
Cattle were in good condition. Supplemental feeding increased in the
In the southern plains, soil moisture was adequate.
Pastures and rangelands were rated fair to good. Cattle conditions were
good; supplemental feeding was limited.
Short supplies of hay and water in northern Texas are
causing producers to consider reducing herds. Pastures and rangelands
were rated very poor to poor. Corn harvest was complete. Armyworms were
Pleasant temperatures and recent rain in far western Texas
have kept livestock and rangeland in good condition.
In west-central Texas, dry conditions produced low-protein
hay, but rangelands and pastures showed some improvement and good
Soil moisture has been very short in central Texas.
Pastures, rangelands and livestock need rain. Hay is in short supply.
Dry conditions forced most hay baling to stop in southeastern
Texas last week. Hay quality dropped due to hurricane damage.
Cattle marketing was difficult because sale barns were damaged as well.
Soil moisture has been short.
Forage availability remained below average in southwestern
Texas. Recent cool weather helped conserve moisture. Land was
prepared for small grain planting, but planting was delayed due to the
In the coastal bend region of the state last week, forage
suffered from lack of water. Yet, some hay was cut and cattle were in
In southern Texas, soil moisture has been short and
ranchers were stocking up for winter feeding.
Although some Texas producers have been luckier than others, all will be
supplementing feed during winter. And that is expensive, says extension
livestock specialist Carpenter. Before buying supplemental feed,
consider his advice: "Start pricing it ahead of time. Plan ahead for
feed purchases and make sure you get out and look at your pasture. Frost
is coming quickly, and it is a good time now to walk around and see how
much forage is available for your cattle."
Source: Texas A&M University.
Hay supplies are a bit short for the horse market in
Virginia, says Charles Roff, Old Dominion Hay Company Inc., Smithfield.
"We've had a lot of warm weather, so the hay market hasn't really picked
up. People are buying hay as they need it," Roff explains. "Of course,
transportation costs are having a big effect on hay demand and there is
some grumbling about high prices." Because there hasn't been a hard
frost on pastures in the area, horses are still able to graze and not
need much hay.
Roff sells to horse owners and to some cattle producers. His horse
customers buy small bales for easy handling. Because they don't have
much available storage, horse owners buy on a weekly or monthly basis.
Roff buys most of his hay from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, New
York, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Canada. "Hay supplies are on the
short side in New York," he relates. "Hay is also short in the upper
peninsula of Michigan, so I am expecting horse hay prices to be higher
this year." Roff says hay has been expensive coming out of Canada
because uncooperative weather has reduced its hay supply.
Transportation costs have gone up as much as $200-300 per truckload out
of New York, Roff explains. "Hay coming out of the western U.S. is up
anywhere from $300 to $400 more per load."
Straw prices have been high for the last few years, he says. "I think
you are going to see some extremely high straw prices later this winter.
There isn't that much straw around." Roff sells around 25,000-30,000
bales of straw each year, much of which he produces. He sells straw to
racetracks and the construction market. "We send a lot of straw to
racetracks in Maryland and northern Virginia. That is good-quality straw
and it is selling between $180 to $200/ton. I could see it going over
$200/ton before spring."
Much of Virginia has been in a severe drought this year, reports Chris
Teutsch, forage specialist, Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and
Extension Center, Blackstone. "At our research station we were about 13"
behind in rainfall. We finally got some rain about three weeks ago and
have caught up a little bit, but we are still in a moisture deficit," he
says. "We got some decent hay crops early in the season, but in August
and September we didn't have any substantial growth in anything but our
warm-season grasses because it got so dry."
Although a lot of older, low-quality hay is on hand, Teutsch echoes
Roff's prediction that high-quality horse hay may be in short supply in
Virginia this winter.
Teutsch says the equine industry is one of Virginia's fastest-growing
agricultural segments, with an estimated 200,000 horses in the state.
Each year, Virginia's horses consume more than 470,000 tons of hay
valued at approximately $100 million. Much of this hay is imported from
other states, according to Teutsch.
Contact Roff at 757-357-4878 and reach Teutsch at 434-292-5331, ext.
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Workshops Available for Former Peanut, Tobacco
Workshops about producing high-quality hay for the
equine market are being offered to former peanut and tobacco producers
in early February.
Virginia Tech and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council are
sponsoring the workshops. They are an attempt to counter changes in ag
policy, low commodity prices, increasing input costs and urbanization,
which have forced many southeastern Virginia peanut and cotton producers
out of farming, says Chris Teutsch. He's a forage specialist with the
Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center,
"Cash hay production could potentially offset some of the lost revenues
from reductions in peanut and tobacco production," says Teutsch.
"However, this will require a consistently high-quality hay product and
an effective marketing program to Virginia's equine industry."
The one-day seminars will be held in three locations throughout
Virginia, repeating the same program in each location. "Producing Cash
Hay for the Virginia Equine Industry" will be held Feb. 7 in Chatham,
Feb. 8 in Blackstone and Feb. 9 in Suffolk. Contact Teutsch at
434-292-5331, ext. 234, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more
**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 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 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. 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 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 334-844-5491.
**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.
**Jan. 31- Feb. 1 -- Midwest Forage Association 2006 Symposium and
Annual Meeting, Stoney Creek Inn, Mosinee, WI. Call MFA at
**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 www.idahohay.com/.
**March 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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