Horse Hay Buyers Seek Consistent Quality, Clean Hay
(Part 2 of two-part series)
Hay producers need to pay close attention to what their clients are
looking for and fit their hay products to customer needs, says Randy
Samko, vice president of Seminole Feeds, Ocala, FL. That's particularly
important when selling premium hay to the horse market.
"Horse owners are looking for consistent quality in the hay they buy,"
he says. "A nice, green color is very important, and we need to be able
to supply clean hay free of dust and mold." Horse owners like to see
good leaf retention and variety purity. "I have seen customers walk away
from alfalfa hay because they could see six heads of timothy showing,"
he says. When Samko buys, he looks for alfalfa cut before bud stage to
prevent possible toxic blister beetle contamination. He suggests hay
producers carry liability insurance in case a customer's animal gets
sick or dies and the hay is blamed.
Before jumping into a particular hay market, hay producers should ask
themselves four key questions Samko urges:
What is my product? "Be realistic about what you can provide,"
Samko says. "If you have brown heads in your hay, it is not a
super-premium hay as far as your customer is concerned. Can you produce
the consistent quality your market will demand? Can you guarantee the
Who is my customer? Figure out if you can consistently meet
customer needs. What type of bale weight is the customer looking for?
Does the customer want straight or mixed hay?
Where can I sell what I have? "Think about whether you want to
sell directly to the customer. Maybe it would work better to sell
through a feed store, or maybe you want your customers to come to your
farm to pick up their hay," Samko suggests. "Or would you be better
served selling through a hay broker who can find a home for all of your
How am I going to get the hay to the customer? "Consider the
logistics," Samko says. "Does the customer have a place to unload and
store the hay? If the customer is seeking a large amount of hay, does he
have the space for a semi to maneuver and unload? Will you store the hay
for your customers until they need it?"
Seminole Feeds buys several semi loads of baled hay per week from
throughout the U.S. to sell to Southeastern horse owners. The company
sells alfalfa, timothy, bermudagrass, orchardgrass/alfalfa and
timothy/alfalfa hay in square bales weighing just under 75 lbs.
Seminole Feeds also makes 41 horse feeds and sells them through three
company stores in Marion County, FL, and through 150 independent feed
dealers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. The company
helps 20,000 customers feed 50,000 horses every day, says Samko. Learn
more about Seminole Feeds at www.seminolefeed.com/index.asp. Contact Samko at
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Dairy Goat, Sheep Milk Producers Plan
More than half of all dairy goat and sheep milk
producers in Wisconsin plan to increase the size of their milking herds
during the next five years, according to the Wisconsin Agriculture
Statistics Service (WASS). Yet another potential market for hay growers.
The report shows Wisconsin's 165 licensed milking goat herds produced
27.6 million pounds of milk in the last year, with total receipts of
$7.57 million and an average price of $27.90/cwt. Wisconsin's 11
licensed milking sheep herds produced 829,300 lbs of milk, with an
average price of $55.50/cwt.
Of the dairy goat herds, 90 farms milk between 1 and 100 goats, 56 farms
milk 101 to 200 goats and 19 farms milk more than 201. More than 80% of
Wisconsin's goat milk is sold to processing plants, and nearly
three-quarters of the milk is sold within Wisconsin, the report says.
Sheep dairies are milking a total of 2,250 ewes, with an average milk
production per ewe at 369 lbs. Sixty percent of the operations have sold
sheep milk for six or more years. None said they planned on
discontinuing production in the next five years, while 56% plan on
increasing the size of their milking herds.
The surveys were a joint effort between the Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and WASS.
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The hay market is strong in his area, reports Harold
Payne, Gilbert. "Hay prices are the highest I've seen in my lifetime."
Payne owns a retail store and sells 95-lb bales to horse owners around
Phoenix and Scottsdale. Customers can buy and take hay from the store or
have it shipped. Payne sells a No. 1, premium alfalfa bale for $9. He
raises 700 acres of hay in addition to more than 1,000 acres of pecans
and citrus. He normally gets about eight cuttings per year on his hay.
He cuts every 28 days until September, then every 40 days thereafter.
This year he got seven cuttings after a cold spring and wet summer
Contact Payne at 602-531-4600.
Most Ontario hayfields experienced strong fall
regrowth, with some unusually heavy top growth, according to reports
from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Most
areas in southern Ontario experienced excellent seasonal forage yields
with good quality. Stored hay and haylage inventories are at average to
very high levels, with downward pressure on prices compared to those of
a year ago. The most notable exception is the northwestern portion of
the province -- yields and inventories were significantly reduced in
Algoma, Manitoulin, Rainy River and Kenora. In some parts of the
province, such as the east-central areas, high seasonal forage yields
provided great recovery after the dry weather and hay shortages of
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
Dairy Day Offers Forage Info
The use of forage testing in formulating dairy rations
and alfalfa variety research are topics that will be covered at the
University of Wisconsin's Arlington Dairy Day on Dec. 13. The event will
be held at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station Public Events
Center. Sponsors are University of Wisconsin-Extension, UW-Madison
Department of Dairy Science and the College of Agriculture and Life
Program topics and speakers include: "Review of Available Forage Tests
and Their Use in Formulating Dairy Rations" -- Dave Combs, dairy
scientist; "Next Generation of Ethanol Feed Byproducts" -- Lou
Armentano, dairy scientist; and "Pen Moves, Stocking Density and Fresh
Cow Health" -- Ken Nordlund, veterinarian.
Participants can also choose four of seven breakout session
presentations on the following topics:
"Silage Leachate and Runoff Management" -- Brian Holmes, ag engineer;
"Milking Performance: A Study of Wisconsin Dairy Operations" -- Pam
Ruegg, extension milk quality specialist; "Corn Silage Hybrid Selection
(Part I)" -- Joe Lauer, extension corn agronomist; "Corn Silage Hybrid
Selection (Part II)" -- Lauer; "What's New with Alfalfa in Wisconsin" --
Bill Kojis, agronomist; "Monitoring Apparent Ammonia -- N Loss in
Freestall Barns under Farm-Like Conditions" -- Michel Wattiaux, dairy
scientist; and "Current Thinking on Managing Dry Period Length" -- Ric
Grummer, dairy scientist.
Program registration fee is $25/person if sent by Nov. 29, and
$35/person after that. The fee includes refreshments, lunch and program
proceedings. Checks should be made payable to UW-Madison and sent to:
Department of Dairy Science, UW Arlington Dairy Day, Animal Sciences
Room 266, 1675 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706. An electronic
version of the brochure is available at www.wisc.edu/dysci.
For registration information, contact Jody Schultz at 920-386-3790. For
other information, contact Bob Kaiser, UW-Extension dairy specialist,
920-386-3790 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or 608-263-9411 on
Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Weed Science Meeting Set For Dec. 11-14
The North Central Weed Science Society annual meeting
will be Dec. 11-14 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee, WI. The meeting,
themed "Weeds: Old Timers and New Arrivals," will include research
presentations in oral and poster formats, as well as symposiums on
invasive weeds, glyphosate resistance and adjuvants.
Discussions on "Glyphosate Weed Management" and "What Makes a Resistant
Weed Resistant?" will be hosted by extension on Dec. 14. For additional
information, visit NCWSS.org.
Source: University of Illinois.
**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, 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.
Contact the Washington State Hay Growers Association at 509-585-5460.
**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 Justin Sexten, University of Illinois, at
618-242-9310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**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 at 435-797-2259 or email@example.com.
**Feb. 9 -- Ohio Forage & Grassland Council Annual Conference,
Reynoldsburg. Contact Mark Sulc at 614-292-9084.
**Feb. 22 -- Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Cave City Convention
Center. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Feb. 26-27 -- 2007 Idaho Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Red Lion
Canyon Springs Hotel, Twin Falls, ID. More details will be available at
**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 14-15 -- 2007 Manitoba Forage Symposium, MacDon Product
Showcase Building, Winnipeg, MB, CA. For more info, visit www.mbforagecouncil.mb.ca or contact Tanis Sirski at
204-768-2781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**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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