Roundup Ready Test Kits Are Available For Hay,
Two companies recently began marketing test kits to
help hay producers, processors and exporters check for the presence of
Roundup Ready genetic material in alfalfa seed and hay samples.
Preliminary results of ongoing research at the University of California,
Washington State University and at Forage Genetics in Idaho indicate
kits seem to reliably detect the presence of 5% or greater Roundup Ready
alfalfa hay in a test sample. The kits are being marketed by Strategic
Diagnostics, Inc., and EnviroLogix.
They could be particularly helpful to hay growers who target the export
market. Most export customers in Japan, for example, have indicated a
strong preference for non-genetically modified hay. Because of this
desire to prevent any risk of transferring Roundup Ready genes into the
supply of hay for the export market, the Washington State Hay Growers
Association has asked Monsanto and Forage Genetics not to release
Roundup Ready alfalfa seed for sale into the state until export
customers indicate market acceptance of genetically modified hay.
Consequently, there was no Roundup Ready seed sold to the state's
growers in 2005.
"As much as 50% of all the Columbia Basin's alfalfa, and almost all of
the timothy produced here, is exported," says Tim Woodward, Washington
State University extension agronomist at Pasco. "It's estimated that
over 80% of the growers in the Columbia Basin in Washington will export
at least one of their hay harvests per year. Some growers are completely
dependent on the export market. A hay processor and exporter will need
to know if there is a tolerance level for the Roundup Ready gene." So
far, most exporters are hearing a zero-tolerance level for Roundup Ready
hay from their Japanese customers. As Woodward points out, customer
demand could change, but in the short-term it would be helpful for
growers to have some way to prove that they had Roundup Ready-free hay,
and the new test kits may be a good solution. "If a grower or exporter
shows a positive test for the Roundup Ready gene in his hay, it would
indicate to him that he should not send it over to Japan," he states.
Woodward, Dan Putnam, University of California extension forage
specialist, and Forage Genetics' Peter Reisen have been studying the
accuracy of the new tests on core samples taken from stacked alfalfa
hay. "The research is geared around the notion that a hay sample testing
at less than 5% Roundup Ready would be considered non-GMO by the
Japanese government," Woodward explains. "The studies we have conducted
so far show the tests detect adventitious presence of the Roundup Ready
gene in hay at 5% or greater levels. The test kits cost in the
neighborhood of $4 to $8 per test."
Contact Woodward at 509-545-3511. Learn more about the new Roundup Ready
alfalfa test kits from EnviroLogix at www.envirologix.com,
or from Strategic Diagnostics, Inc. at www.sdix.com/ProductSpecs.asp?nProductID=19.
The biggest ideas in balers come from New
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baler models to precisely fit your operation. They feature the
XtraSweep™ pickup, which allows you to easily handle heavy or
windblown windrows to bring in more crop. To learn more, see your local
New Holland dealer or call 1-888-290-7377. www.newholland.com/h4/
Wisconsin Web Site Will Continue Linking Feed Buyers
A University of Wisconsin (UW) Web site will continue
to help livestock producers find sources of feed until April 1. The
Farmer-to-Farmer Hay, Forage and Corn List was developed by the UW
extension grains team. Its initial run was scheduled to end Dec. 1, but
producer requests have led to a decision to continue the site, which is
free of charge for both buyers and sellers.
Many area livestock producers may find themselves short on hay and other
feed because of losses to alfalfa winterkill last winter and abnormally
dry weather this summer, explains Mike Ballweg, extension crops and
soils agent in Sheboygan County. "Some parts of the state, especially in
eastern Wisconsin, have shortages," Ballweg says. "However, other parts
of the state have good supplies because they weren't affected by
winterkill or lack of rain. This year, people who need to buy hay may be
able to find it without searching out of state." Ballweg says there are
currently about 70 hay listings on the site that may serve as contacts
for feed supplies over the winter months.
The Web site is at farmertofarmer.uwex.edu.
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The hay marketing season seems to be going well in
southwestern Arizona, reports Barry Tickes, area extension agent, Yuma.
"There is very little hay carried over," he notes. "The irrigation water
situation is on people's minds in Arizona." Growers just over the border
in Blythe, CA, have sold one-third of their water to metropolitan water
users in California. "They were offered a good price and most took
advantage of it," Tickes says. Irrigation water issues and diminishing
agricultural land continue to be a concern as urban development grows,
both in California and central Arizona.
Contact Tickes at 928-580-9902.
A lot of hay has been coming to the Fort Atkinson Hay
Auction, says Bob Humpal, owner and auctioneer. Many Iowa hay producers
had a good year. "We've got lots of hay around here," Humpal says. "Many
producers made five cuttings of hay this year, which is unheard of.
Normally we get about three cuttings. We have a lot of fair hay because
a lot of hay got rained on. We had a dry July and then a lot of moisture
later. We had bumper corn and bean crops, too. Even old-timers say it's
the best they've seen it."
In round bales, good-to-choice hay is bringing $70-80/ton; grinding or
fair hay, $40-50/ton. Choice small square bales are selling for
$100-125/ton; fair-to-good small squares, for $70-85/ton. Fair-to-good
hay in 3 x 3 x 8' square bales is selling for $65-80/ton. Supreme hay is
selling for $90-125/ton. "Our market as an average is about $20/ton
lower this year than it has been in previous years due to the surplus of
hay," Humpal says.
There is a big demand for wheat straw, but not much seems to be
available. Humpal says wheat straw has been selling for $80-90/ton. Big
square bales of oat straw are selling for $60-80/ton. Small square straw
bales were selling for around $125/ton for a month or so, but now prices
are down to $85/ton.
"I think all the snow we're having in the area is going to add one to
two extra months to the feeding season and stock cows won't be able to
go on cornstalks like they usually do," he states. There is around a
foot of snow on the ground in the Fort Atkinson area. Dairy hay
availability has not been a problem so far this year. "There is choice
hay out there, but people are holding off selling it until March,"
Hay has been coming to the Fort Atkinson auction from all parts of Iowa,
Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Auctions are held every
Wednesday at 1 p.m. Call Humpal at 563-534-7513, or visit the Fort
Atkinson Hay Auction Web site at www.fortatkinsonhay.com.
Missouri alfalfa producers may be able to obtain
Roundup Ready alfalfa seed for use this coming spring, said University
of Missouri weed specialists Kevin Bradley and Andy Kendig. They
reported in the recent issue of the University of Missouri Integrated
Pest and Crop Management Newsletter that the cost of Roundup Ready
technology may be hard for smaller-acreage hay producers to justify. The
technology fee for a 50-lb bag of seed will be approximately $125, or
$2.50/lb. "This price does not include the cost of the seed itself; this
is the technology fee only," Bradley and Kendig reported.
The scientists feel Roundup Ready alfalfa could prove useful for spring
establishment of alfalfa and for the control of troublesome weeds like
curly dock, which are difficult to eliminate with current herbicide
options. "As we continue to conduct our research trials with Roundup
Ready alfalfa, the economic utility of this system vs. conventional
alfalfa production systems will become a more important component of our
investigation," Bradley and Kendig said.
They also reported that Milestone herbicide from Dow AgroSciences will
be available for use on grass pastures and hay in 2006. Milestone
contains a new active ingredient, aminopyralid, a growth-regulator. The
new herbicide may be applied at rates ranging from 3 to 7 fluid
ounces/acre, and will control a variety of annual broadleaf weeds. It's
also particularly effective on species like musk, bull and Canada
thistle, and provides good control of bull or horse nettle and spotted
knapweed, which has become more of a problem in parts of southwestern
Missouri. Milestone is registered as a non-restricted-use pesticide, and
it has no grazing or haying restrictions that must be maintained after
application, according to Bradley and Kendig. "These characteristics of
Milestone may help to fill a need for certain pasture and hay producers
in Missouri," they said. "The 4-fluid-ounce rate of Milestone is
expected to cost between $11 and $12/acre."
Contact Bradley at 573-882-4039, or Kendig at 573-379-4031.
The South Carolina National Guard has agreed to supply
a convoy of tractor-trailers to transport hay and supplies to
hurricane-stricken Southern states, according to the Myrtle Beach
Online.com publication. Several South Carolina hay producers and
cattlemen have already sent hay and supplies to hard-hit areas, but
transportation was needed in order to send more, according to officials
at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.
Source: Myrtle Beach Online.com.
This year has gone quite well for hay producers in
parts of Washington state, says Tim Woodward, Washington State
University extension agent at Pasco. "I think we're pretty much out of
high-quality dairy hay," he says. "There is still some feeder hay
around, and you may still see some stacks that have been spoken for by
the export market. It's also really hard to find any timothy hay in the
area right now." Woodward expects there may be more timothy acres
planted next year in order to help supply growing demand from Pacific
He says the biggest issue concerning hay growers in his area is Roundup
Ready alfalfa. At grower request, there was no Roundup Ready seed
released in Washington in 2005. "The growers around here would like to
see Forage Genetics and Monsanto continue to keep Roundup Ready alfalfa
out of Washington into 2006," Woodward says. "County commissioners in
the area decided to write a letter to Washington's governor asking for
her help in keeping Roundup Ready alfalfa out of the state. As far as I
know there has not been any response from the governor."
At a recent Washington State Hay Growers Association meeting, the
membership decided to pursue legislative action to try to delay the
arrival of Roundup Ready alfalfa until there is market acceptance of the
technology among export customers. "The majority of Japanese hay
customers have said they don't want their hay to have any genetically
modified organisms," Woodward explains. "So exporters and processors
have put into their contracts that they will not accept Roundup Ready in
their hay." Woodward points out that export customer opinion may change
over time, but in the meantime Washington growers are concerned about
protecting their export markets. (For more information, see our lead
story on Roundup Ready test kits.)
Aphid problems seem to be increasing in parts of Washington, and cowpea
aphids actually reached an economic threshold and producers had to spray
this year, which is unusual for the state. "This used to be a
warm-season aphid and it didn't do much damage on alfalfa, but it seems
to have spread throughout the U.S. and has been known to have occurred
in three provinces in Canada," Woodward says.
Learn more about Washington hay production at the Washington State Hay
Growers Association Web site at www.wa-hay.org/. Contact Woodward at 509-545-3511.
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
Illinois And Wisconsin Event Scheduled For Feb.
The Bi-State Forage Institute: Focus On Hay will be
held Saturday, Feb. 25, in Harvard, IL, and will target hay buyers and
sellers from Illinois and Wisconsin. The day-long program will focus on
hay storage and production. The Illinois Forage and Grassland Council
will conduct its annual meeting in conjunction with the Forage
Kevin Kline, University of Illinois extension equine specialist, and Liv
Sandberg, University of Wisconsin equine specialist, will focus on
nutritional needs of horses during a presentation from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Other topics to be covered include: Managing Hay Risk with Hay
Additives; Don't Risk Poor Hay: Store It Right; Making, Selling and
Buying Hay; and Understanding Hay Sampling.
The program will be held at the Stratford from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The
early registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for youths ages 18 and
under. Early registration must be postmarked by Feb. 17. Registration
after Feb. 17 is $30 for adults or $20 for youths. Lunch will be
included with the registration fee.
Contact University of Illinois Extension Lake County Office, 100 South
U.S. Highway 45, Grayslake, IL 60030, or call 847-223-8627.
The program is being organized and sponsored by the University of
Illinois and Wisconsin Extension Systems, Risk Management Agency,
Horsemen's Council of Illinois, the Illinois Forage and Grassland
Council, the Illinois Grassland Conservation Initiative and the Midwest
The staff of eHay Weekly wishes you and yours health
and wealth this holiday season. Watch for our next issue the first week
**Jan. 7- 22 -- National Western Stock Show,
National Western Complex, Denver. Learn more at www.nationalwestern.com.
**Jan. 18 -- Tri-State Hay and Pasture Conference, Garret
College, McHenry, MD. Call 301-334-6960 for registration information.
Learn more at agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**Jan. 19 -- Southern Maryland Hay and Pasture Conference, Isaac
Walton League Outdoor Education Center, Waldorf. Call 301-475-4484 for
more information or visit agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**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 -- Delmarva Hay and Pasture Conference, Delaware
State Fairgrounds, Harrington, DE. Contact Richard Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 302-831-1383, or
**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. 21 -- Winter Grazing of Tall Fescue Pasture Walk, Wye
Research and Education Center, Wye Angus Facility, Queenstown, MD. Learn
more at agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**Jan. 24 -- Central Maryland Hay and Pasture Conference, Carroll
County Agricultural Center, Westminster, MD. Contact Doug Tregoning at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-590-2809 for
**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. 7-9 -- Producing Cash Hay for Virginia's Equine Industry
Workshops, Feb. 7-Armory in Chatham; Feb. 8 -- Southern Piedmont
Research Station, Blackstone; Feb. 9- Tidewater Research Station,
Suffolk. Registration for each will begin at 8 a.m. and the programs
will end at 3:30 p.m. Early registration deadline is Jan. 27. Contact
Chris Teutsch at email@example.com,
or call 434-0292-5331, ext. 234.
**Feb. 14-16 -- World Ag Expo, Tulare, CA. Learn more at www.worldagexpo.com.
**Feb. 22-23 -- Pennsylvania Hay and Silage Conference, Holiday
Inn, Grantville, PA. Contact Lisa Crytser for more information at
**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 Grower.
**April 21-23 -- Midwest Horse Fair, Alliant Energy Center,
Madison, WI. Learn more at www.midwesthorsefair.com.
**April 28-30 -- Minnesota Horse Expo, Minnesota State
Fairgrounds, St. Paul, MN. Learn more at www.mnhorseexp.org.
**Sept. 7-9 -- National Hay Association 111th Annual Convention,
Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY.
**Oct. 3-7 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,
WI. Learn more at www.worlddairyexpo.com.
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