Horse Interests Need Consistent Supply Of Small
Hay growers need to focus on providing horse owners
with consistency from bale weight to quality and price in order to
guarantee a successful business relationship. So says Tim Stanton, owner
of Sunset Stables, LLC, Fort Collins, CO. "You are looking for value for
your hay, we are looking for value from hay," Stanton told attendees at
Hay & Forage Grower's recent Western Hay Business Conference and
Expo. He notes that the key to repeat business is for hay producers to
deliver a quality product at a fair price when dealing with boarding
stables. "Ask your customers what they want and then be ready to provide
it," he states.
As the owner of two boarding stables in the Fort Collins area, Stanton
says it's important for him to find a consistent supply of hay that
doesn't vary a great deal in quality, price or weight. He's looking for
hay that's free of mold, dust, blister beetles, weeds and foreign
material. A good, leafy green appearance and fresh smell, without a lot
of stems, helps sell horse hay as well, he says. Consistent bale weight
comes into play when feeding the horses. "There is a tremendous
difference in the size of the bale flake from a 40-lb bale vs. a 60-lb
bale," Stanton explains. Stable owners strive to keep the animals' diet
consistent from day-to-day, and wide variations in bale weight cause
variations in the amount of hay a horse is actually getting. The people
working in the stable may not notice the difference, which can cause
Because Stanton often has clients sign boarding contracts listing the
amount they will be paying for a specified period, it's difficult for
him to factor in wide hay-price swings. "For every $25/ton increase in
hay prices, one must increase boarding fees in the neighborhood of
$11.40 per month to offset the hay prices," he notes. Stanton says he
feeds an average of about 30 lbs of hay per horse per day.
He encourages hay producers to bring samples of their hay, in addition
to laboratory analyses, when calling on potential new horse hay
Learn more about Sunset Stables at www.fortcollinsstables.com/, or contact Stanton at
970-484-6039 or 970-221-1631.
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Canada And Mexico Approve Roundup Ready
Canada and Mexico recently approved the importation of
Roundup Ready alfalfa, according to Mark McCaslin, Forage Genetics
International. He told Western Hay Business Conference and Expo
attendees that about 1 million pounds of Roundup Ready alfalfa seed were
sold to U.S. growers in 2005. An estimated 4 million pounds will be
available in 2006. McCaslin expects 2007 to be the first year in which
there will be enough seed available to meet demand.
USDA Focuses On High Energy Costs
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced
the formation of the USDA Energy Council to help seek out a strategy for
dealing with the high agricultural energy costs. Johanns says USDA's
Risk Management Agency will host a workshop by early spring to seek
ideas and promote discussion about how best to create risk management
tools to help producers manage the impacts of high energy and
energy-related input costs.
Johanns directed the Farm Service Agency to look at ways to provide
support to producers who need credit. Another part of the USDA effort
includes a revised on-line energy calculator designed to help producers
reduce fuel usage. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service
developed the "Energy Estimator" to calculate the diesel fuel usage and
costs associated with various tillage practices in order to help
producers make money-saving decisions. USDA is also stepping up efforts
to support the development, production and use of renewable fuels such
as ethanol and biodiesel.
More information about USDA's energy strategy is available at www.usda.gov/energy.
This Web site features a USDA Energy Fact Sheet, the energy calculator
and details about the USDA energy-related loan and grant programs.
National Ag Statistics Service Revamps Web
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
recently launched its newly redesigned Web site, www.nass.usda.gov. The
site features more agricultural data in an easy-to-use format. Search
for the top five hay-producing states and find out the economic impact
hay production has on those states using the site's search features, for
example. The new design is expected to better serve the needs of NASS
customers, including farmers, researchers and government officials.
Technological enhancements include a new Google-powered search engine
and an interactive mapping application
The site continues to provide comprehensive statistical data on every
facet of U.S. agriculture. Features such as the Quick Stats Agricultural
Statistics Database offer the ability to search for data by commodity,
state(s) and year(s). National, state and county data can then be
downloaded for easy use in a database or spreadsheet.
Producers are encouraged to look for frequent updates and new
information on the site. USDA reports, such as the monthly Crop
Production publication, will continue to be available online just
minutes after release. Additionally, up-to-date information on surveys
currently being conducted, as well as upcoming initiatives such as the
2007 Census of Agriculture, will be available for quick viewing.
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
The combination of winterkill and dry summer weather
left producers in eastern Wisconsin short on hay, reports Dan
Undersander, University of Wisconsin extension forage agronomist.
"Prices have been stable to slightly lower on dairy hay," he says. "We
are seeing some rises in the demand for small bales of horse hay. I
think we will probably see horse hay prices go up because, unlike the
dairy industry, the horse market does not use alternate feed sources
when hay is in short supply."
Contact Undersander at 608-263-5070. Visit the University of Wisconsin
forage Web site at www.uwex.edu/ces/forage.
Midwest Hay Market Report
The University of Wisconsin compiles a weekly online
hay market demand and price report. According to the Dec. 9 report, very
cold and snowy weather continued in Nebraska with sharply increased
demand for "cow hay" last week. Most cattlemen were supplementing cows
out on winter grazing. Demand was good for hay in Iowa. Many South
Dakota farmers and ranchers were still without electricity from a recent
ice and snow storm. Sales activity was good in southwestern Minnesota.
Missouri hay prices were steady, demand was good and supply was
moderate. Several areas of the state experienced various amounts of
snowfall. Prices rose in several neighboring states, but remained mostly
steady in Missouri. Many buyers were still trying to buy mid-quality hay
and were being particular about what they would pay. There continued to
be a moderate supply of higher-end hay, but after freight costs were
added, very little was sold as of last week. It appeared that farmers
who had hay needs covered earlier this year made a wise choice.
Prime Midwestern hay greater than 151 RFV/RFQ was averaging $124.41/ton
for small square bales with a minimum price of $85/ton and maximum price
of $170/ton. Large square bales in the same category averaged
$108.56/ton with a minimum of $67.50/ton and maximum of $145/ton. Prime
large round bales ranged from $55 to $100/ton, averaging $81/ton.
Small square bales of 125 to 150 RFV/RFQ hay sold for an average price
of $107.50/ton, while large square bales averaged $73.50/ton, ranging
from $55 to $91/ton. Large round bales sold for a high of $75.90/ton and
averaged $57.93/ton. The minimum round-bale price was $40/ton.
Grade 2 hay in the 103 to 124 RFV/RFQ range sold for an average of
$84.17 for small square bales. Large square bales averaged $71.25/ton,
with a maximum of $75/ton and minimum of $60/ton.
Straw prices in the Midwest averaged $2.82 per small square bale (range
of $2.10 to $3.50); $22.38 per large square bale (range of $18 to
$27.50); and $19 per large round bale (range of $15 to $27).
Visit www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm to
see the online report. The next report will be posted Dec. 19.
Look to New Holland for bigger ideas.
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rubber-roll or flail conditioning. To learn more, see your local New
Holland dealer or call 1-888-290-7377. www.newholland.com/h4/
North Dakota Forage Training Course Scheduled Jan
A course on 12-month livestock-pasture-forage
management will be offered Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 10-12, on the
campus of Dickinson State University. The course is designed for
producers and students who want to learn more about developing
pasture-forage management plans. This planning course is a cooperative
project of the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research
Extension Center, the Dickinson State agricultural department and the
NDSU animal and range sciences department.
"Each participant in the course will develop a grassland management
strategy that provides a full 12-month forage sequence for his or her
own ranch," says Lee Manske, an NDSU range scientist at the Dickinson
Research Extension Center and one of the course instructors. "The course
will present information about range ecology, livestock nutrition and
forage production to help participants understand and operate their
12-month pasture-forage management plans."
Prior to the start of the course, participants will need to prepare a
complete set of maps; obtain copies of aerial photos for their entire
land holdings, including owned and leased land; and calculate the
acreage of each parcel of land and forage type. A preview of the course
material and instructions for completing the pasture and forage
inventory is available on the Web at www.GrazingHandbook.com.
The cost is $100 for producers ($70 registration and $30 laboratory
fee). The course will run from 1 to 9 p.m., Jan. 10; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.,
Jan. 11; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 12. Dickinson is in the Mountain
time zone. Space is limited, so those who wish to participate are
encouraged to register as soon as possible by calling 701- 483-2185.
**Dec. 12-14 -- California Alfalfa & Forage
Symposium and Trade Show, Visalia. Learn more at alfalfa.ucdavis.edu
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Dec. 14-15 -- Kansas Hay and Grazing Conference, Hutchinson, at
the fairgrounds. For pre-registration or more information, call KFRM
Radio at 888-550-5376.
**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, or visit www.uky.edu/ag/forage.
**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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