Stay Focused When Marketing New Products
Developing and making money from new hay products means
staying focused on specific goals and enduring more setbacks than might
be expected, says Harlan Anderson, Cokato, MN. "Developing a new product
will take longer than you think, cost more than you think, and will have
more frustrations than you think," Anderson told attendees at the recent
Midwest Hay Business Conference and Expo in Sioux Falls, SD. The
innovative grower, a former equine veterinarian, developed a product
called Nutra-Rich Alfalfa Mulch to create a market for his rained-on
hay. The product is sold in urban garden centers in 35-lb, breathable
bags. Anderson markets it as a natural, nutrient-rich garden mulch.
Anderson also developed an alfalfa and grass hay-based complete feed for
horses. The product is sold in soft cube or biscuit form, in 50-lb bags
or locally in bulk. Anderson's horse feed is designed to improve horse
health. Five variations of the product are offered in brightly colored
bags. Senior Supper is for older horses, while Winner's Circle targets
performance horse owners. Happy Horse is for horses on a maintenance
diet, and Next Generation is for growing foals. A Cube Light version is
for overweight horses. Anderson says Cube Light was developed in
response to customer demand for a horse product that mimicked the
popular Atkins Diet.
He developed the products with the ultimate goal of increasing the
profit margins for his hay. In order to be more efficient, he worked to
create products that can be manufactured during the off-season when more
time is available on the farm. He was able to develop the market for his
products in the Minneapolis area. He says producing them close to the
end user is a definite advantage.
He offers the following suggestions to producers interested in
developing new hay products:
He reminds hay growers that successful product marketing includes
networking, advertising, attractive packaging and educating people about
the product. Anderson told hay conference attendees that new product
successes will be more profitable, more rewarding and can help keep
producers in business.
- You must set specific goals that you want to accomplish.
- You must stay focused.
- You must know the properties of your raw product.
- You must know the needs of your customers better than they do.
- You must know your costs to be able to price your product.
- You must know your production and marketing skills, strengths and
- You must know the most profitable locations in which to market.
- You must be open to changes in the market.
- Customer service will determine profit.
- On-time delivery is a valuable service.
- A customer-friendly package is required.
Contact Anderson at 320-286-5040, or visit his Web site at www.idleacres.com.
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Ag-Weather Site Is User-Friendly
The University of Kentucky has put together a
user-friendly Internet site to help hay and forage producers find
information to make their jobs a little easier. The extensive
agricultural weather site not only shows up-to-the minute predictions
and weather information for Kentucky, but also shows how weather
conditions are shaping up in other parts of the South and Southeast.
Visit the site at www.agwx.ca.uky.edu/.
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
Alfalfa weevils are off to an early start in Kansas,
according to Kansas State University entomologist Jeff Whitworth.
Alfalfa weevil eggs are hatching and small larvae are feeding on the new
growth in some fields. "This is somewhat earlier than normal, and it is
probably due to eggs laid last fall or early winter," Whitworth says.
Dry conditions through much of the winter have taken a toll on the
state's alfalfa crop. Rain and snow across much of the state last week
may not have been enough to help the struggling crop, he says. Whitworth
urges producers to inspect new alfalfa growth closely now for evidence
of larval feeding, because the leaves probably only show pinhole-sized
damage. As the larvae grow and feeding progresses, the damage will
become more apparent. Surviving larvae will resume feeding and
additional eggs are likely to hatch when the weather warms back into the
50-plus degree range.
"We do not recommend treating alfalfa weevils until the weather is
projected to be above 50 degrees for a few days, as freezing
temperatures with freezing precipitation may impact the plants and/or
the alfalfa weevil populations," Whitworth says. "What you find prior to
cold weather may be totally changed after the cold weather. Be aware,
however, that weevils are starting to feed, at least south of Interstate
70, and will probably be hatching and feeding north of I-70 shortly
after the return of warm weather."
Contact Whitworth at 785-532-5656.
Kentucky has been fairly dry this winter; however,
mid-March rains helped conditions a bit, reports Tom Keene, University
of Kentucky hay marketing specialist. "We are very cool for this time of
year, averaging from 10 to 15 degrees below normal," he says. "That has
slowed down pasture growth, so people are finding themselves feeding hay
a little longer. We need some warm weather and moisture to get our
grasses out of the ground, because we are a little behind right now."
Many people fed hay early last fall due to the dry weather. "We got a
little bit of rain out of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and that helped
us," says Keene. "The thing that helped carry the hay supply was the
mild winter. If we had had a bitter cold winter with a lot of snow
cover, we would have been in a much more severe state as far as having a
shortage of hay." Hay prices were strong throughout the winter. The
combination of the dry weather and cool spring have helped clean up old
Keene says Kentucky hay producers are about 40 days from first cutting,
unless the cool weather causes delays. "We typically are getting our
first cutting of alfalfa during the first week in May."
He helps Kentucky hay growers improve their hay production and
marketing. He urges producers to take advantage of resources on the
World Wide Web such as the Kentucky agricultural weather site at www.agwx.ca.uky.edu/, and the USDA Agricultural
Statistics Service hay price reports site at www.ams.usda.gov/lsmnpubs/hayw.htm. Visit the
University of Kentucky Forage Extension site at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/.
Contact Keene at 859-257-3144.
Pennsylvania Hay Auctions
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture reports that
263 loads of hay were sold in Lancaster-area hay auctions during the
week ending March 18. Alfalfa sold for $135-205/ton, while mixed hay
brought $130-215/ton. Timothy sold for $130-210/ton, and 33 loads of
straw sold for $115-180/ton.
A total of 162 loads of hay sold at auctions in central Pennsylvania,
with alfalfa bringing $115-220/ton; mixed hay, $120-210/ton; timothy,
$130-165/ton; and straw, $105-175/ton.
Ninety loads of hay sold at the March 13 sale at the Diffenbach Auction
in New Holland, PA. Alfalfa brought $135-205/ton. Mixed hay sold for
$130-215/ton, with a small amount bringing $250/ton. Timothy brought
$140-207/ton; grass hay, $140-222/ton; and straw, $130-170/ton.
View more Pennsylvania auction reports at www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?a=391&q=131582.
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**March 28 -- Minnesota Forage Day, Good Times
Restaurant, Caledonia, MN, 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Contact Lisa Behnken or
Neil Broadwater at 888-241-4536, or Jerry Tesmer at 507-725-5807 or
507-765-3896, or visit www.extension.umn.edu/cropenews/hay/2006/MNForageDays2006_Caledonia.pdf.
**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.
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