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 A Prism Business Media Publication August 29, 2006 |  
Ehay WEEKLY CONTENTS
Plan Ahead To Get RR Alfalfa Seed For 2007
Top of the News Counties In Several States Declared Disaster Areas lllinois Web Site Explains Environmental Regs Beef Industry News Report
State Reports Michigan New Mexico Wyoming
Events Register For Western Hay Business Conference BEEF Quality Summit Scheduled Nov. 14-15 Calendar
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Plan Ahead To Get RR Alfalfa Seed For 2007
Growers planning to plant Roundup Ready alfalfa next year should keep in close touch with local seed providers and order early, say Monsanto officials. Seed supplies are expected to be tight this fall for most of the country, with the exception of parts of California. "We should have a pretty good supply of non-dormant varieties available, starting now," says Chris Peterson, Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa manager. "With demand being as strong as it has been this past year, we anticipate being a bit tight this fall from a dormant variety supply standpoint. We anticipate a better supply position next spring for dormant varieties, but you still want to line up your seed supply early."

It's been a little over a year since RR alfalfa was approved for use in the U.S., and 25 seed companies are now selling it. The seed is available for planting throughout the country. Export approval has been gained for RR alfalfa hay in Japan, Mexico, Canada and Korea. "We're working on getting export approval from more of the Pacific Rim countries," says Paulette Pierson, Monsanto's RR alfalfa technical manager.

The new product has been of particular interest to hay growers who work hard to produce weed-free hay for the dairy market. It's also been a good fit for producers who in the past have used companion crops to prevent weed pressure during establishment. Many cite improved stand establishment as a big advantage gained by using RR alfalfa.

"We suggest producers treat their alfalfa when weeds are small to remove potential weeds from the hay product and to get the highest-quality hay," Pierson says. "You can treat weeds late, but then the skeletons of those dead weeds will be in your hay and can reduce quality. In some areas, growers let that mower bar do their weed control in the first cut. But, because of crop safety and ease of weed control offered by the Roundup Ready system, Roundup Ready alfalfa offers the opportunity to get good-quality hay for the first cutting, while controlling the weeds and getting better establishment with stronger crowns and better root growth."

Producers buying seed west of the Rocky Mountains are charged a $150/bag technology fee. East of the Rockies, that fee is $125/bag. The price difference is based on differing agronomic characteristics, production capabilities and water usage, Peterson says.

Monsanto offers a stand assurance program. If a grower spring-plants the transgenic alfalfa and it does not, for various reasons, come up properly within 60 days, he can replant at no charge for the technology. If the producer plants the alfalfa in fall, he has until May 15 to determine if replanting will be necessary. "If a producer does not see the benefit of our technology and needs to plant again, he plants the second time on us," says Peterson.

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Top of the News
Counties In Several States Declared Disaster Areas
USDA designated counties in California, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas as primary ag disaster areas last week. The counties suffered losses caused by frost, hail, excessive rain, high winds, drought, high temperatures, an unusually mild winter resulting in an infestation of tent caterpillars, high humidity and insect damage. Qualified farmer-operators in these areas are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency and have eight months from the date of declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

A map indicating the designated counties can be accessed at: disasterhelp.gov/portal/jhtml/usda/usdamap.jhtml.

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lllinois Web Site Explains Environmental Regs
EZregs, a new Web site that can help producers make sense of environmental regulations in Illinois, is being hosted by University of Illinois Extension. The site, www.ezregs.uiuc.edu, is home to 13 sets of regulations, including Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Livestock Regulations, the Livestock Management Facility Act (Section 900), the Illinois Construction Site Storm Water Permit, the Illinois Pesticide Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Historic Resources Preservation Act.

Currently, users can access sections on livestock production, food-crop production, ornamental horticulture production and landscape maintenance. Within these sections, users will find regulations on pesticides and worker safety.

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Beef Industry News Report
Learn more about what's happening in the cattle industry from BEEF magazine's "2006 State Of The Industry Report." The report is available at: beef-mag.com/advertisers/research/. Compiled by Iowa State University extension economists John Lawrence and Shane Ellis, the 15-page report provides a concise, one-page overview of the U.S. beef industry, with supporting graphics on demand, inventory, production segments (seedstock, cow-calf, stocker and feedlot), prices and profitability, and industry structure. Print it for a handy office reference.

Source: BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly.

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State Reports
Michigan
The third cutting of alfalfa, under way in southeastern Michigan, is very good quality, according to Michigan State University. In the west-central part of the state, hay harvest has progressed well the past two weeks. Most growers there have finished their third cuttings. Central Michigan growers are harvesting third- and fourth-cutting alfalfa now, with very good yields and quality. Summer seedings have been planted and will benefit from recent rains.

Potato leafhoppers have been above threshold in southeastern and central Michigan; the west-central region has seen some injury.

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New Mexico
New Mexico hay growers have gone from the driest season ever to being slammed into the wettest, reports Doug Whitney, a Roswell grower. Pasture conditions are vastly improving in most areas of the state because of massive rainstorms over the last month. Hay, however, is taking a hit. Whitney says it's rotting in fields, and new crop will probably eventually get run over while old crop is taken out.

"These conditions, while ranching is improved, will not help the supply of hay to dairies," he states. "Most of fourth cutting is black hay in the Pecos Valley, where it was in full swing when storm after storm dumped 4-8" on average this month alone. In southwestern New Mexico, the Rio Grande is running bank to bank, as levees near Hatch have given way on two occasions, flooding the small farming community that was built at or near river level. Elephant Butte Lake has risen many feet, which is great, but at the cost of flooded-out crops and municipalities."

Hay markets are as strong as ever, Whitney says. Because central Texas and the Midwest continue to miss rains, those areas are still hurting for feed. To view a listing of New Mexico hay, visit the New Mexico Hay Association Web site at www.nmhay.com. Contact Whitney at 505-622-8080.

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Wyoming
Hay is in high demand in Wyoming, says Ervin Gara, Torrington. "As soon as first cutting was done, trucks were out in the field loading up," he reports. "Prices are just outrageous -- $100/ton for grinding hay right now. I sold some grass hay for $130/ton recently, and small square bales are bringing around $6/bale at auctions in Colorado. It's a seller's market." Gara says hay buyers from as far away as Texas are traveling to Canada to find hay because supplies are tight in many parts of the western U.S.

The availability of irrigation water this year has been adequate, he says. Hot weather has kept tonnage down somewhat, although it has still been good. "We are on our third cutting and are hoping to get a fourth cutting if we don't get an early snow. We got a little rain on the first cutting this year, but no rain on the second cutting and maybe one-tenth inch on just part of the third cutting. It has been a good year for cutting. We didn't have any insect problems and didn't have to do any spraying at all."

He grows 3,000 acres of hay, primarily targeting the dairy market, and also runs a 300-head cow-calf herd. He ships hay to dairies in Colorado, Iowa and Missouri.

Contact Gara at 307-532-1746.

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Events
Register For Western Hay Business Conference
Plan now to attend the upcoming Western Hay Business Conference and Expo, sponsored by Hay & Forage Grower. 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.

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BEEF Quality Summit Scheduled Nov. 14-15
Sign up now at www.beef-mag.com for BEEF magazine's 2006 BEEF Quality Summit. The Nov. 14-15 workshop in Oklahoma City's Clarion Hotel aims to provide attendees with the background, tools and environment to make the connections for involvement, and the potential rewards offered, in the new beef-value chain.

The first day's program is devoted to outlining the opportunity available in the new beef-value chain. The second day is devoted to how to link your production into that chain.

Among the topics to be discussed are:
  • How U.S. beef consumers define quality.
  • Quality, profit and the cattle cycle.
  • International competition and opportunities for U.S. quality beef.
  • Current international beef trade opportunities.
  • Producers discussing how they are getting paid for the quality they produce.
  • What to look for in selecting a marketing partner -- a panel discussion on the role of various marketing channels.
  • A value-chain production and marketing workshop -- attendees will learn how to match typical production and identification scenarios with available markets for the cattle, and management adjustments needed to make the "next" calf crop fit a chosen market.
  • Linking up with a marketing partner -- an opportunity to meet with participating marketing channel representatives.
For more detail on speakers, topics, accommodations and registration, visit www.beef-mag.com and click on the "BEEF Quality Summit" box in the top right corner of the opening page.

Source: BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly.

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Calendar
**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 rockinh@getgoin.net, or visit www.rockinh.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 kris.ribble@pa.usda.gov 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 dhputnam@ucdavis.edu, or Glenn Shewmaker at 208-736-3608 or gshew@uidaho.edu.

**Jan. 18-19 -- Southwest Hay Conference, Ruidoso Convention Center, Ruidoso, NM. Learn more at the New Mexico Hay Association website at www.nmhay.com. Contact Doug Whitney at dug@plateautel.net 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 glacefie@uky.edu.

**Feb. 6-7 -- Mid-America Alfalfa Expo, Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney, NE. Visit www.alfalfaexpo.com or call Barb Kinnan at 800-743-1649.

**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 jxc555@gmail.com, or Dave Hartman at 570-784-6660, ext. 12, or dwh2@psu.edu.

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Comments from Readers
Send Questions & Comments To...

Lora Berg, Editor, eHay Weekly,

hfg@hayandforage.com

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