Tight Hay Supplies Point To Higher
According to the Oct. 19 USDA Livestock, Dairy and
Poultry Outlook report, U.S. hay supplies are likely to be fairly tight
and expensive this winter, particularly if a more-normal winter develops
following last year's mild one. Hay production was forecast at 147
million tons this year, down 2.4% from the 2005 total. May 1 hay stocks
were down 23%, and dry conditions in many areas forced hay feeding this
past summer. The September farm price of other hay averaged $93/ton, up
from $78.90 a year ago. The alfalfa hay price averaged $112/ton, up from
$106 in September 2005.
The report says pasture conditions continue a modest recovery, but
favorable temperatures and moisture are still needed to accumulate
much-needed growth for winter grazing. Wheat and other small grain
pasture grazing potential are still very uncertain, as they were last
fall, although recent moisture will help.
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Research Looks At Nitrogen Utilization In Dairy
The best compromise between milk production and
nitrogen excretion in dairy cattle seems to come when alfalfa silage and
corn silage are fed in similar proportions, according to Alvaro Garcia,
South Dakota State University extension dairy specialist. He cites
recent research at the University of Wisconsin and U.S. Dairy Forage
Research Center comparing different ratios of alfalfa silage to corn
silage. Diets containing high concentrations of alfalfa silage resulted
in higher production, but also increased nitrogen excretion. NDF
digestibility, dry matter intake and milk and milk fat production all
decreased when corn silage replaced alfalfa silage. As corn silage
increased in the diets, nitrogen was utilized more efficiently by the
cows, resulting in less nitrogen being excreted in urine and feces.
Nitrogen excretion decreased when alfalfa silage plus high-moisture
shelled corn were replaced with corn silage plus soybean meal. No diet
minimized nitrogen excretion without negatively affecting production,
according to Garcia. The diet that least affected production was one
that used a ratio of alfalfa silage to corn silage of 24:27.
Seeking A Net-Wrap Standard
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological
Engineers (ASABE) is working on a project to develop uniform standards
pertaining to net wrap for round balers. It says the lack of standards
results in a wide range of quality and performance, making it difficult
for end users to select a net wrap that will provide trouble-free
operation in their specific round balers. Standards will give uniform
nomenclature and minimum specifications, which will ensure satisfactory
performance in properly adjusted round balers. They'll also help provide
adequate durability in normal storage and handling of the baled
ASABE is a standards-developing organization with more than 200
standards currently in publication. Conformance to ASABE standards is
voluntary, except where required by state or other governmental
requirements. Standards documents are developed by consensus in
accordance with procedures approved by the American National Standards
Institute. Contact Scott Cedarquist at ASABE at 269-429-0300, or via
email at email@example.com for more
Missouri Livestock Producers Get Forage
The Missouri Department of Agriculture recently started
taking applications from livestock producers who have suffered forage
losses because of the drought. Producers in 30 southwestern Missouri
counties are eligible. They're being reimbursed on a per-head basis.
Funds are being allocated based on the number of animals impacted by the
forage production losses. Missouri producers will be dividing up $2.7
million in grant money. Applications have to be postmarked by Nov.17 and
are available online or from the Farm Service Agency and extension
offices in qualified counties.
Source: Brownfield Radio News and Missouri Department of Agriculture.
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
Hay grew well in Ohio this year, but wet weather has
been a big issue, reports Mark Sulc, Ohio State University agronomist.
"Some parts of the state have been very wet since early September, so it
has been difficult to get stretches of dry weather to get hay harvested
or crops out of the field," he says. "We have had our first frosts, and
fields have shown varying levels of frost damage, depending on the
species and where you are in the state."
Sulc says it was an average year for quality. "At times it was very
difficult to make high-quality hay in some parts of the state, but
growers in other areas were able to get quality hay made," he reports.
Potato leafhopper levels were very high, especially in western
Contact Sulc at 614-292-9084.
Drought is blamed for lower alfalfa production in South
Dakota in 2006 compared to 2005. USDA's Oct. 1 Crop Production report
forecast the state's alfalfa production at 3.84 million tons from 2.4
million acres harvested, for an average yield of 1.6 tons/acre.
Production is slightly above that of the severe drought year of 2002,
but down 26% from 2005 production, according to a news release from the
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) office in Sioux Falls.
Production of other hay is forecast at 1.65 million tons from 1.5
million acres, or 1.1 tons/acre.
"We had a good summer for making hay in Utah," says Tom
Griggs, Utah State University extension agronomist. "It was hot, but not
excessively hot for alfalfa. There was enough time to get most hay up
without a lot of rain damage." Hay growers were fortunate to have
adequate irrigation water. "We had an excellent snow-pack last winter,
and then the rate of snowmelt was nice and gradual, so a lot of the
irrigation sources, the streams and creeks, ran for a long time," Griggs
Stem nematodes are a continuing problem. "We're getting lots of reports
of fields that are stunted by stem nematodes," he states. "Some of the
problem is probably the spread of nematodes in fields where there hasn't
been enough rotation to other crops. Part of the problem may result from
planting non-resistant varieties. There has been some education about
the value of certified seed and resistant varieties."
Markets for Utah hay have been relatively strong, Griggs says. Utah
growers are sending hay to California and Idaho in addition to selling
hay within the state. "The growth of the Idaho dairy industry and the
continuing strength of the California dairy industry are helping the
markets for our hay," he reports. He speculates that there may be some
restructuring of where hay will be sold in the future, depending on fuel
prices. "It's a long way to California," he notes. "Maybe there is more
hay going into Idaho and Arizona than used to be the case, just because
they are closer than California. Because of fuel prices, some producers
may have decided to leave alfalfa in for another year rather than do all
of the tillage and seedbed prep and other fuel-related issues of taking
it out and rotating crops."
Utah growers are growing more grass hay for the horse and dairy markets.
"Some dairy nutritionists are specifying grass hay in the ration,"
Griggs explains. "There are some little pockets in Utah and parts of
Nevada where they are putting up alfalfa-grass mixtures or straight
grass hay, and are doing very well selling it. It's not the predominant
market, but it does well here."
Growers are still excited about hay production, Griggs says. "It's one
crop where there is still some enthusiasm for production and marketing.
It has been a good, consistent, marketable crop for those who are
committed to raising it well, putting it up right, storing it correctly
and finding the right market. I would say there is still opportunity out
there, particularly for young people who are looking for an area to get
involved in agriculture. Motivated producers who are doing everything it
takes to raise hay well, such as cutting it on time, marketing it and
providing their customers with back-up service, can still do well."
Contact Griggs at 435-797-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Walk-Ins Welcome At Western Hay Business
The Western Hay Business Conference & Expo takes place
Oct. 24-25 at the Red Lion Inn, Spokane, WA. Come to the conference to
pick up marketing tips from some of the most progressive hay growers in
the U.S. Spend time learning about new hay industry technology at the
hay industry-specific trade show.
Neal Martin, director of the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in
Madison, WI, will update attendees about how research is redesigning
alfalfa for dairy cattle. Martin also plans to talk about how alfalfa
may someday play a bigger role in human nutrition.
The Innovative Hay Grower Panel promises to be one of the most popular
sessions. Three of the top hay growers in the U.S. will share insights
and marketing tips that have made their operations successful. Panel
members will include Joe Heese, hay operations manager for Farm Partners
Supply, Harlan, IA; Scott Duffner, farm manager, Dinsdale Farms, Silver
Lake, OR; and Richard Larsen, owner, Larsen Farms, Dubois, ID.
Another conference speaker, R.L. "Dick" Wittman, Culdesac, ID, says
reducing the cost of producing hay may result in as much or more payback
than increasing the revenue side of the equation. He'll examine ways hay
growers can increase the profitability of their operations during
sessions on Oct. 25.
Other speakers will discuss hay export opportunities, producing hay for
the horse market and organic hay production. Learn more about maximizing
yields and profits from timothy and orchardgrass, too.
Walk-in registrations are welcome, so come if you can! Learn more about
the conference at www.hayconference.com, or call 800-722-5334, ext.
**Nov. 14-15 -- 2006 BEEF Magazine's Quality
Summit, Clarion Hotel, Oklahoma City. Learn more and sign up at www.beef-mag.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 email@example.com, or Glenn
Shewmaker at 208-736-3608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Jan. 17-18 -- 2007 Washington State Hay Growers Association Annual
Conference & Trade Show, Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick,
WA. Contact the Washington State Hay Growers Association at 509-585-5460
to learn more.
**Jan. 18-19 -- Southwest Hay Conference, Ruidoso Convention
Center, Ruidoso, NM. Learn more at the New Mexico Hay Association Web
site at www.nmhay.com.
Contact Doug Whitney at email@example.com 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. 6-7 -- The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association's
Mid-America Alfalfa Expo, Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney, NE.
Visit www.alfalfaexpo.com or call Barb Kinnan at
**Feb. 7-8 -- Utah Hay & Forage Symposium, Holiday Inn Resort,
St. George, UT. Contact Thomas Griggs, 435-797-2259.
**Feb. 9 -- Ohio Forage & Grassland Council Annual Conference,
Reynoldsburg, OH. Contact Mark Sulc for more information at
**Feb. 22 -- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dave Hartman at
570-784-6660, ext. 12, or email@example.com.
**March 13-14 -- 2007 Midwest Hay Business Conference & Expo, KCI
Expo Center, Kansas City, MO. Learn more at hayconference.com/conference/index.htm.
**March 21-22 -- 2007 Central Plains Dairy Expo, Sheraton Inn,
Sioux Falls, SD. Learn more at www.centralplainsdairyexpo.com/ or call Kathy Tonneson
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