Horse Hay Product Is Good Business
A sweet-smelling hay has made business sweet for
Godfrey Poyser, a former English dairyman who grows timothy and alfalfa
near Coaldale, Alberta. Poyser and his son Michael make big square bales
of timothy in the 20-30% moisture range. Then they wrap them. The end
result is a new horse feed called "sweet hay," marketed by a company
called A1 Feeds, Coaldale.
Poyser, who operates the business, will be one of three speakers at the
March 14, 1 p.m. opening general session of the Midwest Hay Business
Conference & Expo. Poyser, Bob Bleeker of Dakota Premium Hay, Yankton,
SD, and Dave Storms of Muscoda, WI, who wraps big square haylage bales
for U.S. and Puerto Rican dairymen, will tell how they've opened new
markets and expanded sales.
For more information on the conference, to be held March 14-15 at the
Ramkota Hotel, Sioux Falls, SD, visit www.hayconference.com. Or call
800-722-5334 and ask for Cindy Kramer.
Texas Equine Business Center Is Possible
Some of the first-ever detailed data on the estimated
$102 billion equine industry could be generated by a proposed Center for
Equine Business Studies at Texas A&M University. So says Ernie Davis,
center director. "Something like this is badly needed," Davis says.
"This would really bring the whole industry together and tell an
accurate story of how much the equine industry contributes each
The center concept has been approved by the Texas A&M Board of Regents,
but funding will depend on outside support. "There's no standard
marketing mechanism for the horse industry," Davis says. "We could get
greater market exposure for the horse industry by providing some trend
data that various associations and retailers could use in
Such data could also influence legislation "that can either negatively
or positively affect the use of horses by the public," says Bill Moyer,
center associate director and head of veterinary large animal and
surgery at Texas A&M. It could also affect handicapped riding programs,
promote entrepreneurial efforts in selected areas, and help in the
selection of marketing approaches, Moyer adds. "The impact could be
Source: Texas A&M Agriculture News.
Global Demand Spikes Fuel Prices
Strong global demand, rather than a shortage of supply
in the U.S., is the driving force behind the current high cost of
gasoline, according to Matthew Roberts, Ohio State University extension
Unrest in the Middle East and Iran's nuclear aspirations are causing
fuel supply fears. Several factors within the U.S. will also impact fuel
costs. One is a government regulation that requires dramatic reductions
in sulfur content in gasoline and diesel starting this summer.
"Right now, ultra-low-sulfur fuels represent less than 1% of all the
fuel being produced. This number needs to rise to 70% or 80% by this
summer," Roberts says. "Refineries will have to be taken off-line to
make the adjustments so they can meet those targets. When you are not
producing fuel and living off the inventories we have, that's going to
cause prices to rise."
Also, refineries across the U.S. are phasing out the fuel additive MTBE
(methyl tertiary butyl ether) and replacing it with ethanol. Analysts
speculate this phase-out, which California is expected to complete this
year, will stretch the country's gas supply.
Roberts predicts that certain regions of the country may see gas at
$3/gallon or higher this summer. He urges those with fuel storage to
stock up now. "It would probably be wise to fill fuel storage for use
through June, and if you have any additional capacity, to fill up all
tanks at this point."
U.S. consumers are already seeing a taste of what might come in a few
months. According to the Department of Energy, average retail gas prices
have risen nearly 8 cents from the previous two weeks. Roberts says
prices are likely to continue to climb well into April as the refinery
maintenance season begins.
Source: Ohio State University.
Graze Stressed Pastures Carefully, Texans
Grazing too early this year could further damage
already stressed bermudagrass pastures, says a Texas Cooperative
Extension expert. Beset by drought and wildfires, north-central Texas
producers may be tempted to turn cattle into their bunch grasses or
Coastal and Tifton 85 bermudagrass pastures greening up from recent
But don't "jump into pastures" just yet, cautions Yoana Newman,
extension forage specialist at the Texas A&M University ag research
center at Stephenville.
"Just because they green up doesn't mean pastures have recovered," she
says. "The green color is accentuated by the dark color of the burnt
ground, giving the impression that there is more herbage than there
actually is. Whether they have bunch grasses or sod-forming Coastal or
Tifton 85, they need to allow more time to ensure restoration of the
sugar reserves that foster growth before the animals graze the pasture
Newman recommends the following:
"Buying hay for a few more weeks will more than offset the potential
damages and expenses (like weed control, replanting, etc.) that will
result from grazing too early," says Newman. "Delaying grazing now,
controlling your weeds and fertilizing your pastures will translate into
solid summer pastures."
- Bermudagrass stands should be at least 8" tall before being
- Collect soil samples now, if you haven't already, and base pasture
fertilization on soil test results. "Due to drought and lack of growth,
soils may have more nutrients than anticipated," Newman says.
- Wait until nighttime temperature reaches 60 degrees for several days
in a row before fertilizing. "Fertilizing too early will be the
equivalent of fertilizing weeds, since warm-season grasses are still
dormant when nighttime temperatures are below 60," Newman says.
- Apply total fertilizer over several days in a row, not all in one
- Wait until rain is forecast, and target fertilization just prior to
- Control weeds when moisture is present. "Moisture is necessary for
many herbicides to work properly and to be translocated inside the weed
Source: Texas A&M Agriculture News.
The biggest ideas in haying equipment
come from New Holland. Like the BW Series self-propelled automatic bale
wagon, featuring a new five-speed automatic transmission that provides
excellent speed matching ability. Choose a slower ground speed in
high-density crops, or fifth gear overdrive for no-load road speed. To
learn more, see your local New Holland dealer or call 1-888-290-7377. www.newholland.com/h4/
Midwest Auction Report
Midwestern hay prices were staying moderate, according
to the University of Wisconsin's March 3 hay auction report. South
Dakota prices were trending lower than in previous weeks, while prices
were steady in Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa. Trade activity and demand
were reported to be very good in Nebraska, good in Missouri, light to
moderate in Iowa and moderate in South Dakota.
Record-high temperatures greeted many areas of Missouri during the last
week of February, doing little to help already dry and severely dry
areas. Yet a very wet spring is predicted. If warm temperatures remain,
alfalfa growers could be spraying for alfalfa weevils very early this
year, increasing crop input costs.
Southwestern Minnesota hay prices were lower than they had been, but
sales activity was good. Prices at the Lomira, WI, hay auction were 38%
higher than prices in the rest of the Midwest but 4% lower than those
paid at the Feb. 3 auction. Sales activity and buyer demand were light
but higher than at the February auction.
Illinois hay had moderate-to-active sales activity, with steady prices
and a light to moderate supply. Since the first of the year, a larger
offering of hay for sale has kept buyers content, adding some price
stability. The available supply of alfalfa hay mixed with grass and
grass hay in small squares continued to be light with very good demand.
Demand for dairy and beef hay remained moderate to good. Many northern
and central Illinois hay producers are concerned with the lack of
moisture, which has been below normal over the fall and winter. Demand
for straw was moderate to good, with light to moderate supplies; prices
were mostly steady. Higher prices for straw have started to limit
Straw prices in the Midwest averaged $2.18/small square bale,
$32.75/large square bale and $17.56/large round bale. Compared to the
previous week, straw prices for small square bales were down 14%. Large
square bale prices were up 51%, mainly due to Illinois prices. Large
round bale prices were down 18%.
Prime hay greater than 151 RFV/RFQ, brought an average of $122/ton for
small square bales in the Midwest, with a minimum price of $60/ton and a
maximum of $160. Large square bales of prime hay averaged $104/ton,
ranging from $60 to $150. Large round bales of prime hay averaged
$87.92/ton, ranging from $59 to $142.50.
Grade 1 hay, at 125-150 RFV/RFQ, averaged $92.08/ton for small squares,
with an $80 minimum price and a $110 maximum price. Large square bales
averaged $84.62/ton, ranging from $70 to $110. Large round bales
averaged $60.52/ton, claiming a $50 minimum price and an $85
Grade 2 hay, at 103-124 RFV/RFQ, brought an average price of $76/ton for
small square bales, ranging from $32 to $130. Large square bales ranged
from $40 to $127/ton, averaging $76. Large round bales averaged
$55.60/ton, ranging from $27 to $85.
Grade 3 hay, at 87-102 RFV/RFQ, brought $95/ton in large square
Source: University of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin hay producers are hoping 2006 will be a
better year, reports Tom Braun, owner of Hamp Haven Farms, Reedsville.
"Because of winterkill we lost 85% of our hay crop in 2005," says Braun.
"Then we had a summer drought and had very little forage going into
winter. We had to chop a lot of corn silage to try to replace the hay.
We also baled all of our soybean stubble." That's made for a short hay
supply in Braun's area this winter. Big square alfalfa bales sold for
$200/ton or more at the Reedsville hay auction several weeks ago, he
"I bought a lot of 150-160 RFV hay for $140/ton last fall and then tried
to make do with other protein sources in our dairy ration. But other
sources just don't produce the milk like good alfalfa does."
Last spring, Braun planted a number of emergency forage crops to replace
winterkilled alfalfa. He direct-seeded alfalfa and planted peas and oats
with alfalfa, peas and barley with alfalfa, peas, oats and barley with
alfalfa, Tetrabano Italian annual ryegrass, Monarque Italian annual
ryegrass, ryegrass with alfalfa, BMR sorghum and sorghum-sudan. The dry
summer was hard on these crops, too. Direct-seeded alfalfa only averaged
0.2 ton/acre, ryegrass averaged 0.3 ton/acre, and the small grains and
peas averaged 0.6 ton/acre. "Due to the lack of rain, everything was
dying or going dormant," he says. "We didn't even have enough hay there
to pay for the fuel we used to harvest it. The crop insurance indemnity
payments on destroyed alfalfa were not sufficient to buy even one
ton/acre of good-quality hay. We were only paid $61/ton for the
Hamp Haven Farms is a diversified operation consisting of more than
6,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Braun milks 650 cows
and sells TMRs, haylage and corn silage. He also runs a custom
harvesting business. Contact him at 920-754-4076.
NK Brand Alfalfas deliver
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Expedition and Boulder, combine high nutritional values with high
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Minnesota Forage Day Will Be March 28
The University of Minnesota Forage Day will be held
March 28 from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Good Times Restaurant in
Program topics will include: what's new with Roundup Ready alfalfa, how
to capitalize on forage legume N-fixation in rotations, seeding grasses
with alfalfa, equipment strategies to speed hay and haylage drying, ways
to reduce silage shrinkage and spoilage, interpreting and using forage
tests and adjusting corn silage harvesters for better silage.
Featured program speaker will be Ron Schuler, University of Wisconsin ag
engineer. University of Minnesota speakers will include: Jerry Tesmer,
Fillmore-Houston-Winona extension technical advisor; Craig Sheaffer and
Paul Peterson, forage agronomists; Neil Broadwater, extension educator,
dairy; and Mary Raeth-Knight, dairy nutritionist.
For more information, call Lisa Behnken or Neil Broadwater at
888-241-4536 or Jerry Tesmer at 507-725-5807 or 507-765-3896. Or visit
**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 204-768-2782, or visit www.mbforagecouncil.mb.ca/Default.htm.
**April 19-20 -- 2006 Mid-South Ruminant Nutrition Conference,
Arlington Hilton at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Sponsored
by Texas A& M University Extension Service and the Texas Animal
Nutrition Council. Contact Ellen Jordan at 972-952-9201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**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 email@example.com, 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. Call 800-707-0014 or visit www.nationalhay.org.
**Oct. 3-7 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,
WI. Learn more at www.worlddairyexpo.com.
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
in improving the yield potential and forage quality of your
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
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