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 A Prism Business Media Publication February 14, 2006 |  
Ehay WEEKLY CONTENTS
Bioterrorism Rules Will Affect Hay Growers
Top of the News Watch Hay Fields For Early Growth
State Reports Iowa Auction Report Michigan Minnesota
Events Michigan Alfalfa Technology Conference Set For March 9 Calendar
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Bioterrorism Rules Will Affect Hay Growers
The federal government's efforts to protect the nation's food supply will soon impact commercial hay growers in a big way. According to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesman, farmers who sell hay must comply with record-keeping requirements of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.

The mandated records include, among other things, the field that each load came from, the truck that hauled it, and names and contact information of the driver and the people who loaded and unloaded it. The buyer's name and address, and the arrival date, must also be on record.

The rules are designed to enable FDA to trace any contamination problem back to its source. According to the 2002 law, they apply to "persons that manufacture, process, pack, transport, distribute, receive, hold or import food."

FDA includes animal feeds in its definition of food. Feed manufacturers, grain elevators, alfalfa processors and other entities that process or store farm products must comply. While most farms are exempt, the FDA spokesman confirms that commercial hay growers are not. Operations with 11 or more full-time employees must comply by June 6 of this year; smaller operations have until Dec. 9.

William Kanitz, president of ScoringAg.com, Sarasota, FL, has developed a computerized system to simplify compliance with the new record-keeping rules. He's well-versed on the requirements, and will discuss them at Hay & Forage Grower's Midwest Hay Business Conference & Expo, March 14-15 at the Ramkota Hotel, Sioux Falls, SD.

The conference also will cover a number of other topics of interest to hay growers, including marketing innovations, production costs and forage analyses. Kanitz will begin his presentation at 2:45 p.m., March 15.

Registration costs $150/person. A second person from the same operation can attend for $125. For more information or to register, call 800-722-5334 and ask for Cindy Kramer, or visit hayconference.com.

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Top of the News
Watch Hay Fields For Early Growth
Warmer-than-normal weather means Great Plains hay growers should watch for a possible early dormancy break in hay fields, say experts at the High Plains Regional Climate Center at the University of Nebraska. (An early dormancy break could mean winterkill or a delay in spring regrowth, according to forage experts. Unseasonal warmer temps can cause crown buds to grow. But when cold weather resumes, those buds can be killed or damaged.)

Six High Plains states reported the warmest early winter on record. Climate centers in Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado rank the first part of winter, considered to be since Dec. 23, as the warmest such period in 100 years of record-keeping.

Forecasts for February to April call for above-normal temperatures in the Southwest, but for equal chances of above- or below-normal temperatures in the High Plains area. The climatologists say soil temperatures will indicate whether conditions are right for early plant growth. Currently, weekly average soil temperatures range from the low 20-degree mark in North Dakota, to the low 40-degree range in Kansas. Nebraska soil temperatures average in the 30-degree range.

Source: Tri-State Neighbor.

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State Reports
Iowa Auction Report
Rock Valley Hay Auction Company, Rock Valley, IA, reported a steady-to-strong market on all classes of hay at its Feb. 9 auction. Seventy-three loads were sold. Small square bales of second-cut alfalfa hay sold for $80-120/ton. In 3 x 3' bales, first-cut alfalfa ranged from $62/ton to $82/ton; second crop, from $65 to 80/ton, and third and fourth crop brought $67/ton. A load of second-cut 3 x 4' bales sold for $80/ton, and third-cut 3 x 4s sold for $82-85/ton. Large round bales of first-cut alfalfa went for $57-72/ton; second cut, for $60-72/ton; and third crop, for $65-77/ton.

Grass hay ranged from $82 to $110/ton in small square bales; from $42 to $67/ton in large round bales. Small square bales of mixed alfalfa-grass hay sold for $70/ton, while large round bales brought $42-75/ton. Small squares of wheat straw ranged from $1.65 to $2.10/bale.

Hay auctions are held at 12:30 p.m., CST, on Thursdays year-round and on Mondays from November through April. Contact Rock Valley Hay Auction at 712-476-5541 or visit www.rockvalleyhay.com.

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Michigan
There's a good market for alfalfa hay in Michigan right now, according to Richard Leep, Michigan State University extension forage specialist. He says the past growing season brought dry weather to some parts of the state, while other areas had record hay yields. "Precipitation was quite spotty last year," he says. Leep expects there will be enough hay to meet dairy- and horse-quality hay demand. He says horse numbers and horse-hay demand have been increasing in the state.

To learn more about the Michigan Forage Council, which is conducting a membership drive and hosting an alfalfa technology conference (see below), visit web1.msue.msu.edu/fis/.

Contact Leep at 269-671-2323.

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Minnesota
Demand for hay and baleage has been good this winter, reports Joe Burg, Caledonia, MN. Wisconsin dairies have been looking for feed after parts of the state suffered from winterkill last year and a very dry summer, he says. Burg expects to have enough hay and baleage to meet demand. But this year, for the first time, he's also charging an additional hauling fee to reflect high fuel prices. He sells 90% of his hay and baleage to dairy customers, with the rest going to the beef, horse, sheep and dairy goat markets. "I am seeing an increase in sheep customers," he states. He says sheep and goat producers like to buy baleage. Burg sells primarily to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa producers.

He, his son Jami and son-in-law Darryl Twite farm 1,000 acres in the southeastern corner of Minnesota. Contact Burg Hay LLC at 507-724-2020.

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Events
Michigan Alfalfa Technology Conference Set For March 9
Growers can discuss the merits of Roundup Ready alfalfa at the March 9 Michigan Alfalfa Technology Conference, to be held in the Lincoln Room in the Kellogg Center, East Lansing. The conference will also cover potato leafhopper-resistant alfalfas, falcata alfalfa, and knowing when to plow down alfalfa stands based on shoot density. Results of recent Michigan State University research comparing older with new alfalfa varieties will be reported. Plus, a panel of growers will explain how they grow alfalfa.

View the program and registration form at web1.msue.msu.edu/fis/ (click on "Workshops"), or contact Richard Leep at 269-506-6196 or leep@msu.edu. Registration cost is $25. Checks should be made out to Michigan State University Alfalfa Conference and sent to: Richard Leep, 3700 East Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, MI 49060.

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Calendar
**Feb. 14-16 -- World Ag Expo, Tulare, CA. Learn more at www.worldagexpo.com.

**Feb. 16 -- Indiana Forage Council Annual Meeting and Seminar Presentation, Cornerstone Hall, Salem. Contact Lisa Metts at lmetts1@purdue.edu or 765-494-4783.

**Feb. 21- 22 -- Central Plains Irrigation Conference, Comfort Inn, Colby, KS. Learn more at www.oznet.ksu.edu/sdi/REvents/cpia.html.

**Feb. 22-23 -- Pennsylvania Hay and Silage Conference, Holiday Inn, Grantville. Contact Lisa Crytser at 814-865-2543.

**Feb. 23 -- Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Lexington. Contact Garry Lacefield at 270-365-7541, ext. 202.

**Feb. 25 -- Bi-State Forage Institute: Focus on Hay, The Stratford Inn, Harvard, IL. Call 847-223-8627.

**Feb. 27-28 -- Idaho Hay and Forage Association Meeting, Red Lion Canyon Springs Hotel, Twin Falls. Learn more at www.idahohay.com/.

**March 4 -- Grass-Finished Meats Seminar, Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg, PA. Contact Kris Ribble at 570-784-4401, ext. 111, or Dave Hartman at 570-784-6660, ext. 12. Sponsored by Penn State Cooperative Extension and Project Grass Northeast.

**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. Visit www.hayconference.com.

**March 22-23 -- Manitoba Forage Symposium, MacDon Product Showcase Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Call the Manitoba Forage Council at 204-322-5427, or visit www.mbforagecouncil.mb.ca/Default.htm.

**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. Learn more at www.mnhorseexpo.org.

**May 25 -- University of Florida Corn Silage And Forage Field Day, Plant Science Unit, Citra, FL. Contact Jerry Wasdin at 352-392-1120 or jwasdin@animal.ufl.edu, or visit www.animal.ufl.edu. Under "Dairy Cattle," click on "Corn Silage Field Day."

**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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Comments from Readers
Send Questions & Comments To...

Lora Berg, Editor, eHay Weekly,

hfg@prismb2b.com

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