USDA Expands CRP Haying, Grazing
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner recently
announced the expansion of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage
eligible for emergency haying and grazing in specific counties in
Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Conner also announced that CRP rental
payments will be reduced by only 10% instead of the standard 25% on CRP
lands that are grazed in 2006.
The expanded area radiates 150 miles out from any county approved for
emergency haying and grazing in any above-mentioned state. A map of the
counties approved for emergency haying and grazing with an approximate
150-mile radius will be posted on the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Web site
Click on Conservation.
To be approved for emergency haying or grazing, a county must be listed
as a level D3 Drought -- Extreme or greater, or have suffered at least a
40% loss of normal moisture and forage for the preceding four-month
period. State FSA committees may authorize emergency haying or grazing
of CRP in counties currently listed as level D3 drought according to the
U.S. Drought Monitor. CRP participants should submit applications with
their local FSA offices.
More information is available at FSA offices and the Web site.
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Iowa Offers Weed Seed-Free Certification
The Iowa Crop Improvement Association is offering a
certification program to assure that forage and mulch are free of
noxious weed seeds. The program complies with the Weed-Free Forage
Standards developed by the North American Weed Management Association.
The key steps in the program include filling out an application form for
seed or commercial fields of forages and small grains, inspection of
fields and storage sites prior to cutting and harvesting, labeling the
bales or containers with certification labels and issuance of a transit
certificate for interstate shipments. Inspecting fields and storage
sites within 10 days of harvest assures that a designated list of 54
noxious weeds and undesirable plants are not present. Any noxious weeds
or undesirable plants near the field are isolated from the field by at
For more information, visit www.agron.iastate.edu/icia or contact Eileen Wuebker,
Iowa Crop Improvement Association, at 515-294-0546 or email@example.com.
Source: Iowa State University.
USDA Guide Offers Security Tips
USDA recently released Pre-Harvest Security
Guidelines and Checklist 2006 to help agricultural producers enhance
security at the farm level. These practical measures help to protect
against natural disasters as well as the unintentional or intentional
introduction of plant or animal diseases.
"We work on many fronts to ensure that our nation continues to provide
the safest food supply in the world," says Agriculture Deputy Secretary
Chuck Conner. "While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to
protecting agriculture, recommendations in this guide can be beneficial
to a variety of types and sizes of agricultural operations."
The voluntary guidelines and checklists were developed based upon
recommendations from producers throughout the U.S. Guidelines have been
developed for general agriculture, dairy, crops, cattle and poultry
USDA's local Farm Service Agency Service Centers are distributing the
guide. For more information about USDA's homeland security efforts, go
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.
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Alfalfa fields in parts of Kansas are stressed from
drought, and Kansas State University agronomists are encouraging growers
to cut their losses -- literally.
"We have alfalfa that, because of drought, grew from about 4 to 10"
tall, but has just been sitting there at the same stage of development
for two or three weeks," says Gary Kilgore, southeast area agronomist.
If the alfalfa is tall enough, Kilgore advises growers to go ahead and
cut it for hay. If, however, the plants are only a few inches tall and
haven't been growing for the last couple of weeks, he encourages them to
cut the field, just let the old growth lie in the field, and let new
growth start developing on those plants.
Kilgore says much of southeastern Kansas received rain July 13, and
cutting the alfalfa now will allow plants to take advantage of the
moisture while forming new tillers. Topgrowth that has stopped due to
drought stress won't start growing again, says extension agronomy state
leader Jim Shroyer. New stems from the crown will be initiated by recent
moisture, but leaving the old growth on plants won't help them, he says.
Source: Kansas State University.
Several cases of Scolecotrichum leaf blight were
recently diagnosed in Kentucky orchardgrass fields, according to Paul
Vincelli, University of Kentucky plant pathologist. This disease appears
as tan or tannish-orange blotches of dead tissue on leaf blades.
Blighting, which results in rapid death of portions of the leaf blade,
often appears toward the upper half of the leaf. Under a hand lens, one
can see very tiny black pimple-like structures, which is where the
spores are produced. "Though we commonly see this disease in
orchardgrass during summertime in Kentucky, the damage this year seems
to be worse than normal," Vincelli notes.
He says cutting hay crops will help reduce disease progress. Producers
are also urged to select orchardgrass varieties that have proven
themselves to be well-adapted to Kentucky conditions. Learn more about
how different varieties performed by referring to University of Kentucky
Extension Agronomy's orchardgrass variety evaluations at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/ForageVarietyTrials2.htm.
Source: University of Kentucky.
Manitoba hay growers were excited about their first
cutting but now are looking for rain, reports Glenn Friesen, a Manitoba
Agriculture forage business development specialist. "We had an excellent
first-cut harvest," he says. "Yields were average to above-average, and
quality was excellent. We've had little rain in the past few weeks,
which improved the harvesting conditions. However, we're ready for rain
now to improve second-cut yields. Certainly the regrowth on our
coarse-textured soils will be significantly reduced from the drier
"Our pastures are experiencing the most stress due to the dry
conditions, which may contribute to an increased demand for hay this
fall," Friesen says. "You can certainly tell who's practicing rotational
grazing, as those pastures are in better condition. We predict average
to below-average amounts of high-quality forage will be available this
feeding season, and any additional rain will improve the situation."
Friesen says growers have been saving high-quality hay to sell into the
U.S. market. A listing of the hay available in Manitoba can be viewed at
web2.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/haysearch/index.php. All hay in the dairy
section of the site is required to have test results entered, Friesen
notes. "This makes hay selection more user-friendly," he says. The
Manitoba Forage Council is currently setting up a list of Manitoba
producers and truckers who have marketed or transported hay into the
U.S. in the last few years. The list will be made up of people who know
how to work efficiently with U.S. import regulations. It will soon be
available on the forage council's Web site, www.mbforagecouncil.mb.ca/default.aspx, under the
heading Forage and Hay Marketing.
Contact Friesen at 204-745-5672.
Spotty rain showers ranging from 1" to more than 3"
fell in parts of Dawson County, NE, during the last couple weeks,
according to Dave Stenberg, the county's extension educator. Some areas
received hail as well. Pastures and grasses revived a little with the
recent moisture. "We sold a lot of hay last fall because we had a lot,
but some producers wish they'd waited until now with the higher prices,"
Stenberg says. "We don't have the hay acreage we used to, given the
emphasis on ethanol in the area. Prices range from $80 to $90 for big
round and square bales and over $100 for small bales. High-quality hay
is going for $125. More and more cow-calf producers are using
distiller's grains to supplement pasture feeding."
Meanwhile, second-cutting alfalfa is done and regrowth will need some
rain in Dakota, Thurston and Dixon counties. Subsoil moisture is
becoming short, sandy and high-clay areas are showing stress, and
irrigators are running their pivots on corn, says Del Hemsath, extension
educator in those counties.
Cowpea aphids have been reported in alfalfa at Nebraska's Haskell Ag
Lab. "It's dry here and recent rains have been spotty," says Tom Hunt,
extension entomologist at the lab.
Rains have been good but spotty in Nemaha County. "We've had several
days of heavy dews, which also helped," states Gary Lesoing, extension
educator. "We've had a few potato leafhoppers in alfalfa, so producers
should be prepared to scout, especially in new stands."
Source: University of Nebraska.
Sale barns are reporting tremendous increases in cattle
sales as South Dakota ranchers run out of pasture and hay due to dry
conditions, and hay prices hit more than $100/ton, according to the
Rapid City Journal. Herreid Livestock Market, the state's
second-largest sale barn, has seen a 90% increase in cattle sales for
this time of year. The sale barn receives cattle for sale from western
and central South Dakota. Normal sales for this time of year average
200-300 cattle per week. This summer, 2,500-3,500 head per week have
been selling, most of them cows and their spring calves. Ranch families
are reportedly selling their entire herds.
USDA recently announced that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in
20 drought-stricken South Dakota counties would be available for
emergency haying and grazing. However, the paper quotes officials saying
much of the CRP acres in drought areas have little feed value left. The
fields are also catching fire easily, creating a number of wildfires.
The high cost of fuel is adding to the cost of transporting hay to the
area. "It's as desperate a situation as I've ever seen," says Herman
Schumacher, co-owner of Herreid Livestock Market.
Source: Rapid City Journal.
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Western Hay Business Conference Is Oct.
The Western Hay Business Conference and Expo, sponsored
by Hay & Forage Grower, is scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at the Red
Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane, WA. It will feature a panel of
innovative hay growers discussing ways to increase sales and profits.
Other speakers will cover hay export opportunities.
Come to the conference to learn tips on how to squeeze more profit from
your hay business. Learn more about alfalfa's role in human nutrition,
in building materials, and as fodder for ethanol. Learn more about how
to maximize yields and profits from timothy and orchardgrass. Find out
why hay growers need to look at the organic hay market and what horse
hay buyers want and how they want it.
Register for $150 per person and bring a second person from your
operation for $125. Learn more at www.hayconference.com.
Manitoba Grazing Tour Coming July 25-26
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, along
with Ducks Unlimited and the Manitoba Forage Council, have organized a
two-day Provincial Grazing Tour for July 25-26. Busses will travel
across southwestern Manitoba, making farm stops to hear speakers on
alfalfa in rotation, alfalfa grazing and management practices for
breaking disease cycles and improving animal health and productivity,
and many other subjects. There will also be demonstrations on electric
fencing and mobile watering systems. View the brochure at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/news/topics/pdf/daa74d03.pdf.
For more information, contact Glenn Friesen, Manitoba Agriculture, at
**July 19 -- Northeast Florida Beef And Forage Group
Regional Hay Field Day, North Florida Research and Education Center,
Suwannee Valley, Live Oak. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
Refreshments, lunch and packet included in $5 registration fee. Call
Elena Toro at 386-752-5384 by July 14.
**Aug. 7-9 -- Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, Texas A&M
University, College Station. Register online at animalscience.tamu.edu or by calling 979-845-6931.
**Aug. 25 -- Illinois Forage Expo, Hildebrandt Farms, 2475 State
Line Road, South Beloit. Learn more at www.illinoisforage.org, or contact the Illinois Forage
& Grassland Council at 618-664-0555, ext. 3.
**Sept. 7-9 -- National Hay Association 111th Annual Convention,
Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY. Call 800-707-0014 or visit www.nationalhay.org.
**Sept. 7-9 -- Stockman's School For Profit, Rockin H Ranch,
Norwood, MO. Gerald Fry and Cody Holms will provide real live data and a
close-up look at how the Rockin H Ranch of 900 cow/calf pairs has grown
to a successful family operation in the last 31 years. Ranchers can
learn how to profitably operate a ranch. Contact Cody Holmes at
417-844-2619, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.rochinh.net.
**Sept. 12 -- Kentucky Forage And Grassland Council Field Day,
Dobbs Shady Meadow Farm, Campbell County. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Sept. 21-24 -- World Beef Expo, Wisconsin State Fair Park near
Milwaukee. Learn more at www.worldbeefexpo.com, or call 414-266-7050.
**Oct. 3-7 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,
WI. Learn more at www.worlddairyexpo.com.
**Oct. 17-19 -- Sunbelt Ag Exposition, Moultrie, GA.
**Oct. 20-21 -- 5th Annual Pennsylvania Statewide Project Grass
Conference, Williamsport. Featured speakers include Jim Gerrish and
Allen Williams, plus many more. Contact Kris Ribble at email@example.com or
570-784-4401 ext. 111.
**Oct. 24-25 -- Western Hay Business Conference And Expo, Red
Lion Hotel at the Park, Spokane, WA. Sponsored by Hay & Forage
Grower. Register at $150 per person and bring a second person from
your operation for $125. Learn more at www.hayconference.com.
**Nov. 21 -- Kentucky Grazing Conference, Fayette County
Extension Office, Lexington. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Dec. 11-13 -- Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Reno, NV.
Contact Dan Putnam at 530-752-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Glenn
Shewmaker at 208-736-3608 or email@example.com.
**Jan. 18-19 -- Southwest Hay Conference, Ruidoso Convention
Center, Ruidoso, New Mexico. Contact Doug Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Feb. 28-March 2 -- National Grassfed Beef Conference,
Grantville, PA. Contact John Comerford at 814-863-3661 or email@example.com, or Dave Hartman at
570-784-6660, ext. 12, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear eHay Weekly,
I was disturbed by the comments in the article,
"Chemical Residues Threaten Exports," (July 22 issue of eHay
Weekly). "The guidelines must be followed for all hay that may be
exported." If it is a threat to exported hay, why is it not a threat to
non-exported hay? Is the health of America not important to farmers ...
obviously not! The more I read, the more evidence I find that America's
agriculture has fallen victim to the chemical warfare that the giants
are field testing. Proper management can curtail the need for chemical
warfare and in most cases put it in check.
A responsible publication would work toward correcting the situation,
not exploiting it. I understand that the advertisers pay the bills but
at what expense? Take a proactive stance and make them the heroes and
develop the proper alternative to chemicals.
Seacoast Plumbing & Heating
Dragon Fly Farms
174 Prescott Road
Northport, ME 04849
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