Understanding Horse Hay Market Demands
Knowing the kind of hay horse owners want, and
producing it, are crucial to a seller's success, says Jimmy Glisson,
vice president of sales and marketing for Seminole Feed, Ocala, FL.
Glisson buys 12-15 semi loads of hay each week for horse owners
throughout the southeastern U.S. The company's equine nutrition
business, with dealers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama,
also exports horse hay to the Caribbean and Middle East.
A featured speaker at the March 14-15 Midwest Hay Business Conference &
Expo, Glisson will offer suggestions on how growers can market to horse
"The horse hay market is a tough market," he explains. "There are a lot
of misconceptions about what a customer wants." Glisson's company
divides horse hay customers into four groups: professional, competitive,
recreational and caretakers. He will explain what each group is looking
for and talk about using hay brokers. Learn more about the Seminole Feed
business by visiting its Web site at www.seminolefeed.com.
Glisson will be joined by Mark Ullerich, South Dakota State University
extension horse specialist, for the March 14 presentation. The
conference will be held at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls, SD. Learn
more by visiting www.hayconference.com, or call 800-722-5334 and ask
for Cindy Kramer.
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Hay Conference Offers Two-For-One Deal
Register for the Midwest Hay Business Conference & Expo
before March 1 and bring another person along at no additional cost.
Registration and a $150 payment must be received by March 1 to qualify
for this special offer. Payment is fully refundable if cancellation is
received prior to March 14, the start of the conference.
Call 800-722-5334 and ask for Cindy Kramer for more details.
Fewer But Larger Dairy Herds, USDA
Growers targeting the dairy industry should note that
the nation's dairy herds continue to become fewer and larger, according
to USDA. Its recent report shows that dairy operations with 500 or more
cows represented just under 4% of the nation's dairy herds in 2005, but
produced about 50% of total U.S. milk, says Dairyline Radio News. About
3,070 U.S. herds have 500 cows or more, accounting for about 45% of the
nation's 9 million cows.
A 2005 increase of about 60 herds from the 2004 figure actually occurred
in herds of 1,000 cows or more. In contrast, dairy operations with under
500 cows fell by a combined 3,900 herds from 2004 levels. More than half
of the decline came in 1- to 49-cow herds. Relatively strong milk prices
probably helped slow that decline compared to 2004 numbers. USDA does
not differentiate whether the growth of the largest herds is through the
creation of new herds, or expansion of existing smaller herds.
Several Midwestern states had the biggest increases in number of large
herds. For example, Ohio increased its number of herds with 500 cows or
more by 15 last year. Michigan and Idaho each added 10 herds of 500 cows
or more. California didn't show any increase in the number of herds with
500 cows or more. However, 29,000 more cows were on California dairies
in December compared to year-earlier levels.
Source: Dairyline Radio News.
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Kevin and Linda Nelson, Nelson Hay Company, Hadley, MN,
just sent hay customers their first email newsletter of the season. The
Nelsons use the newsletter to keep customers informed about hay supplies
and to provide production updates throughout the hay season. The Nelsons
are busy preparing for their fourth year exhibiting at the Minnesota
Horse Expo, April 28-30 in St. Paul. Their show booth attracts new horse
hay customers, Nelson notes. He contracts with a number of horse owners
to provide hay for the entire season; many of those contracts are
finalized by the end of the expo.
Current supplies of small square bales of horse hay are limited, Nelson
says. He has a good supply of medium square bales, but finds more demand
for small squares. Visit the Nelson Hay Company Web site at www.nelsonhayco.com,
or call Kevin and Linda at 507-836-6818.
The Pipestone Hay Auction reported that 97 loads of hay and straw, or
535 tons, sold at the Feb. 21 auction. Alfalfa sold for $52-80/ton in
small square bales, $35-85/ton in round bales, and $62-70/ton in large
squares. Grass hay brought $47/ton in small square bales and $30-57/ton
in round bales. Mixed hay in small squares went for $52/ton, and in
round bales, $40-77/ton. Straw sold for $1.90-2.35/small square bale;
$15-37/round bale. Sales are held at 11 a.m., CST, every Tuesday. Learn
more at www.pipestonelivestock.com/hay-straw.html.
Demand for New Mexico hay has never been stronger, but
supply is short, reports Doug Whitney, Roswell. "There is no alfalfa to
be had in New Mexico, let alone good alfalfa," Whitney says. "Those who
have barn-stored hay for later sales are out, or nearly out, of supply.
Demand in central Texas has taken any extra supplies due to the drought,
which has already affected its 2006 supplies, according to recent
reports. Some dairies in New Mexico are having a very hard time finding
hay this time of year." Whitney expects the 2006 crop to bring a
premium, which he calls more of a necessity than a luxury because of
Hearings on a proposal to form a New Mexico Alfalfa Commission are being
held throughout the state. The state ag department will then decide if
support for the proposed organization warrants a referendum.
"This is the standard process for the formation of all crop commissions
in New Mexico, whether it be chile peppers, onions, pecans, or
whatever," Whitney explains. "All of these groups have made great
strides in helping farmers with their concerns, and we hay producers
want to have that ability to become a stronger and more effective hay
organization." If the proposal passes, Whitney says the New Mexico Hay
Association would likely dissolve into the New Mexico Alfalfa
"An alfalfa commission with an executive director will be badly needed
in the future in ways we have not imagined up to this point," Whitney
says. "We will have battles to keep alfalfa and the water needed to grow
it." The New Mexico Hay Association (formed primarily as a marketing
organization) "has helped hay producers create a better relationship
with New Mexico State University (NMSU), among a great many other
things. NMSU has been a great instrument in the development of alfalfa
varieties specifically suited to New Mexico."
Contact Whitney at 505-622-8080.
Hay prices have been relatively stable during most of
the crop marketing year, according to Matthew Diersen, South Dakota
State University ag economist. At least 180,000 acres of new alfalfa
were planted in 2005, the lowest level of new seeding in the state since
1999. Fall hay disappearance in the state was about 500,000 tons less
than expected. Last year, 7.56 million tons of hay were produced. Yields
were good across all hay types and hay supply was estimated to be 9.66
million tons going into last fall. An estimated $400 million worth of
hay is grown annually in the state, he adds.
Diersen will be a speaker at the upcoming Midwest Hay Business
Conference & Expo in Sioux Falls, SD, March 14-15.
Contact Diersen at 605-688-4864.
Research trials conducted throughout the major alfalfa growing
regions of the U.S. prove the superior performance of Raptor®
herbicide: Controlling grasses and broadleaf weeds with Raptor in
both seedling and established alfalfa can have a significant effect
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The chemical company.
Always read and follow label directions.
Raptor is a registered trademark of BASF. © 2005 BASF
All Rights Reserved.
APN 05-01-133-0010 b
**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
**March 9 -- Michigan Alfalfa Technology Conference, Lincoln
Room, Kellogg Center, East Lansing. Visit web1.msue.msu.edu/fis/ (click on "Workshops"), or
contact Richard Leep at 269-506-6196 or email@example.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.
**March 22-23 -- Manitoba Forage Symposium, MacDon Product
Showcase Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Call the Manitoba Forage Council
at 204-768-2782, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or
visit www.animal.ufl.edu. Under "Dairy Cattle," click on
"Corn Silage Field Day."
**June 14-15 -- 4-State Dairy Nutrition and Management
Conference, Grand River Center, Dubuque, IA. Call Dave Fischer,
618-692-9434 or Leo Timms, 515-294-4522.
**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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