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 Hay & Forage
 USDA Hay Prices
 A Prism Business Media Publication May 23, 2006 |  
Clarifying FDA Hay-Tracking Requirements
Top of the News U.S. Firm Sets Up Vietnamese Dairy Plant How Much Hay Does A Circus Elephant Eat? Sign Up For MarketMaxx
State Reports North Dakota Utah
Events Clemson Beef And Forage Field Day Is June 3 Four-State Dairy Nutrition And Management Conference Is June 14-15 Calendar eHay Weekly Archives Available
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This Week's USDA Hay Prices by State

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Clarifying FDA Hay-Tracking Requirements
By Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
There has been some concern caused by recent press releases about the need to track hay and grain sold off the farm relative to the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The requirements take effect on June 9 for operations with more than 10 employees, and on Dec. 9 for all other operations. The FDA requirements are stated in a fact sheet at

The National Hay Association and others have checked with the FDA and found that the recording requirements have been vastly overstated in the press. According to the requirements, producers should keep track of who/where commodities are bought from and who/where commodities are sold.

Farms are specifically exempt. FDA is proposing to define "farm'' in Sec. 1.227(c)(3) in part as "a facility in one general physical location devoted to the growing of crops for food, the raising of animals for food (including seafood), or both....Some examples of farms include: apple orchards, hog farms, dairy farms, feedlots or aquaculture facilities." The definition of farm includes: "(i) Facilities that pack or hold food, provided that all of the food used in such activities is grown or raised on that farm or is consumed on that farm; and (ii) facilities that manufacture/process food, if all of the food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership. ... Facilities that engage in manufacturing/processing, packing or holding of food that are not described in the definition of "farm'' must register. ... A farm that manufactures/processes, packs, or holds food is not required to register with FDA, if all of the food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same ownership. For example, a farm that manufactures/processes animal feed from ingredients obtained off the farm for consumption by animals on the farm would be exempt because most farms that raise animals engage in this activity."

Farmers who simply bale hay for sale do not have to register their facilities or maintain records. The FDA does not consider baling hay as processing. All the FDA needs is a receipt, contained in a receipt book, showing the name of the person (or entity) that bought the hay, in addition to listing the quantity that was purchased. There is no requirement that hay producers keep track of all the bales and where they go. Records that are maintained for tax purposes which show that a sale was made, and to whom the sale was made, should be sufficient for compliance. The new FDA rule will not require a farmer to change recordkeeping as long as details of the feed sale are recorded.

Drying hay or grain and chopping for silage are considered post-harvest activities, which would be considered manufacturing/processing. Therefore, the facility drying hay or grain or chopping forage must establish and maintain records of the food's receipt (if purchased) and release (if sold) as required in 21 CFR 1.337 and 1.345. Those selling silage or TMRs would fall under this requirement.

In particular, there is no need for being able to track lots of hay or grain back to individual fields as some have indicated. Thus, the news releases have been much ado about nothing. No additional records for hay or grain sales are required beyond what most keep for tax records.

Contact Undersander at 608-263-5070 or email him at

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Top of the News
U.S. Firm Sets Up Vietnamese Dairy Plant
U.S. hay producers who are looking toward the Vietnamese dairy hay market may be interested to learn that Gannon Group, a U.S. food production company, has officially invested in Vietnam with a project to set up a dairy holding company. The Vietnam Hi-Tech Dairy Holding Company has total investment capital of $10 million. It specializes in producing fresh milk bearing a "Milky US" trademark, according to reports in the Nhan-Dan newspaper in Hanoi.

The company's dairy factory is located in Tan Duc Industrial Park in southern Long An province. It is designed to process 30 million liters of milk annually. Milky US will also produce yogurt. Currently, Milky US has a network of 30 major distributors from central Da Nang city southward.

Nhan-Dan reports that Gannon expects Vietnam to be the group's second fastest-growing market, following China, because 60% of the country's 80 million population is under age 20.

Source: Nhan-Dan Online News.

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How Much Hay Does A Circus Elephant Eat?
According to the Delaware News Journal Online, each elephant traveling with the Ringling Brothers, Barnam & Bailey Circus eats up to 100 lbs of hay per day. The circus travels with some hay, but also buys hay from local feed stores while on the road.

Source: Delaware News Journal Online.

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Raptor is a registered trademark of BASF. © 2005 BASF Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.
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Get a pair of authentic DICKEY-john work gloves with Hay Moisture Tester orders placed by June 16! Find the optimum baling time and maximize your crop's value with the hay producer's most essential instrument. Precise and portable, it measures bales or windrows.

Visit for more details and the distributor nearest you.
State Reports
North Dakota
Hayfields are looking good in much of North Dakota, according to Dwain Meyer, North Dakota State University extension agronomist. "We had very little winter injury or winterkill," he says. "We had a little bit of standing water that caused some loss in some irrigated fields, but in general the state is in excellent condition for a hay crop this year. We had enough moisture last fall and this spring that we should have a very good first crop of hay." Meyer expects the first cutting to begin around June 1. "We had about 10 days of cool temperatures that slowed production down a little bit," he says.

Alfalfa weevils started showing up in western and south-central North Dakota, but the cool temperatures have prevented them from becoming a big problem yet.

Contact Meyer at 701-2331-8154.

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Much of last year's hay supply is cleaned up and gone, reports Nick Huntsman, owner, Mountain Valley Hay, Enterprise. "Demand has been good and some hay is moving, but most of it was contracted ahead of time," he says. First cutting should begin around June 1. Huntsman says local hay producers are concerned about what low milk prices are going to do to the dairy hay market. "Dairy producers are buying hay hand-to-mouth and using up supplies before contracting too far ahead," he notes. Rainy conditions in the West last summer drove up dairy hay prices. "We are seeing better crops in parts of the West this year," Huntsman says. "I think really good hay will keep getting good prices, but once the quality goes down, the prices will follow."

Fuel prices are another topic of concern. "Fuel prices really impact us in this area because there isn't really a good local market for our hay," Huntsman explains. "Almost all of our hay gets on a truck and goes 400-500 miles. You have to compete with closer hay and so farmers are absorbing the cost of fuel. The fuel price is going to be a dramatic bite for most growers. I figure a $1/gallon rise in fuel prices amounts to an additional cost of between $5 and $7/ton on a load of hay. It helps to have backhauls on trucks to ease the costs somewhat."

Huntsman sells hay to the dairy market, feed stores and for export to the Pacific Rim, Middle East and South America.

Contact him at 435-632-4464.

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NK Brand Alfalfas deliver more quality AND more yield. Our premium alfalfas, like Genoa, Expedition and Boulder, combine high nutritional values with high yields, plus outstanding agronomics and persistence for longer, healthier stands. The result? More profit from your alfalfa acres - whether you feed it or sell it.
Clemson Beef And Forage Field Day Is June 3
John Andrae, Clemson University forage specialist, will talk about new forage varieties and Greg Harvey, Sumter County extension agent, will speak on weed identification and control at the Clemson Extension Service Beef and Forage Field Day. The event will be held June 3 at Wateree Farms, Rembert, SC. Bobby Summerset of Wateree Farms will speak on cattle management, and his colleague, Ray Watford, will talk about the farms' heifer barn and cattle-working facility. Hay equipment and electronic cattle identification demonstrations will be conducted.

The program, organized by the Central Cattlemen's Association, runs from 8:15 a.m. until around 3 p.m. Lunch will be served. Producers interested in cattle management, forage production and weed identification are encouraged to attend.

Since Wateree Farms is a facility of the South Carolina prison system, program participants must be preregistered. No one will be allowed to bring a weapon onto the facility. Attendees must have a picture ID in their possession at all times, stay with groups and avoid contact with inmates. Cameras will be allowed with restrictions.

To prevent contamination while attending the field day, participants should not wear clothing and shoes that have been worn on their farms while working with animals.

Call the Sumter County extension office at 803-773-5561 by May 31 to register and get directions.

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Four-State Dairy Nutrition And Management Conference Is June 14-15
Leading dairy industry experts will come together for the 2006 Four-State Dairy Nutrition and Management Conference, June 14-15 at the Grand River Center, Dubuque, IA.

Extension dairy specialists from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a panel of industry professionals, will cover a number of topics. They include feeding heifers efficiently, dry period length, calf feeding economics, reproduction, milk fever prevention, rumensin feeding tips, and long-day effect on heifers and first-lactation cows. Jan Shearer, University of Florida, will discuss lameness in dairy cattle and managing foot problems. Lon Whitlow, North Carolina State University, will address mycotoxins and feeding management to avoid spoilage.

The event starts at 8:30 a.m., June 14, with a morning preconference symposium sponsored by Alltech. Symposium topics include mycotoxins in dairy cattle, dealing with pathogens and toxins, and selenium's role as an antioxidant.

Following the 11:45 a.m. adjournment on June 15, participants can stay and attend one of four in-depth workshops from noon to 3 p.m. The topics: dairy ration formulation, dairy labor management, dairy financial analysis, and measuring dairy production parameters. During these hands-on workshops, producers and industry representatives will get individualized help on such tasks as balancing dairy cattle rations or writing a labor contract and work schedule.

For registration and program information, check the University of Minnesota Extension Service dairy Web site,, or contact Marcia Endres at 612-624-5391.

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

**June 14-15 -- Four-State Dairy Nutrition And Management Conference, Grand River Center, Dubuque, IA. Call Dave Fischer, 618-692-9434, or Leo Timms, 515-294-4522.

**June 15 -- Purdue University Forage Management Workshop, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is $80/person. Registration forms and workshop brochures are available at For more information, contact call 765-496-3755 or email

**June 21 -- Intergenerational Transfer, New Swing 10 Parlor and Freestall Tour and Intensive Grazing Pasture Walk, Chris and Angie Neis Farm, 12433 Loran Road, Mt. Carroll, IL. Jim Morrison, University of Illinois Extension, will discuss pasture species renovation and fertility management. Contact Kevin Bernhardt, 608-342-1365.

**June 22 -- Montana Hay Day And Field Research Tour, Montana State University Central Agricultural Research Center, 2 miles west of Moccasin. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and tours at 9:30. A lunch is scheduled. For more information, contact the center at 406-423-5421, or David Wichman at 406-423-5421 or

**July 6-8 -- Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference, University of Missouri Southwest Research Center, Mt. Vernon. Learn more about the conference and tours at Mail registration to Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference, University of Missouri Extension, 700 Main Street, Suite 4, Cassville, MO 65625 or call 417-847-3161.

**Sept. 7-9 -- National Hay Association 111th Annual Convention, Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY. Call 800-707-0014 or visit

**Sept. 12 -- Kentucky Forage And Grassland Council Field Day, Dobbs Shady Meadow Farm, Campbell County. Learn more at

**Oct. 3-7 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI. Learn more at

**Nov. 21 -- Kentucky Grazing Conference, Fayette County Extension Office, Lexington. Learn more at

**Dec. 11-13 -- Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Reno, NV. Contact Dan Putnam at 530-752-8982 or, or Glenn Shewmaker at 208-736-3608 or

**Jan. 18-19 -- Southwest Hay Conference, Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, New Mexico. Contact Doug Whitney at, or call Gina Sterrett at 505-626-5677.

**Jan. 24-25 -- Heart Of America Grazing Conference, Holiday Inn, Mount Vernon, IL. Contact Garry Lacefield at 270-365-7541, ext. 202, or

**Feb. 27 -- Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Cave City Convention Center. Learn more at

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eHay Weekly Archives Available
The previous 12 months of eHay Weekly can be found on the Web site. Click on eHay Weekly archives in the brown box on the left-hand side; then select which month you would like to review.

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Comments from Readers
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Lora Berg, Editor, eHay Weekly,

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