Bale Wrap Program Produces Quality
Hay growers in Lincoln County, KY, have been taking
part in a bale-wrapper rental program designed to help them make
higher-quality forage products. The Lincoln County Extension Service and
Farm Bureau combined funds from a program that helped producers phase
out tobacco acres and encouraged hay production. Four inline bale
wrappers and a platform wrapper were bought and rented in several
locations around the county. The wrappers have been used by 75-80
growers each season, wrapping around 6,000 bales/year. They pay $3/bale;
that money goes into machine maintenance and replacement funds.
Because of the program, growers have been able to sell higher-quality
forage. "I've been really pleased with the wrapper program," says Dan
Grigson, county ag extension agent. "Some producers were able to sell to
dairy and hay producers. The program has helped us raise better-quality
livestock in the county, too."
Since using the program's bale wrappers, some producers have bought
Contact Grigson at 606-365-2459. Learn more about the University of
Kentucky's hay and forage resources at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/.
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Forage-Based Ethanol Proposal Discussed
The government should pay farmers to grow 5 million
acres of switchgrass, a possible new feedstock for the booming ethanol
industry, said Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), incoming chairman of the
House Agriculture Committee, last week. For years, ethanol has been
distilled mainly from corn. Researchers say new feedstocks could be
grasses, the stalks of crops, woody shrubs and even trees.
Peterson suggested a five-year pilot program to encourage farmers to
grow 5 million acres a year of switchgrass and other crops for making
cellulosic ethanol, reports Reuters. Peterson says the pilot program
would allow experimentation in growing switchgrass, sweet sorghum and
other possible feedstocks. The switchgrass program could be part of next
year's overhaul of U.S. farm supports, according to Peterson. He says he
does not want switchgrass to be grown on Conservation Reserve Program
Source: Reuters and U.S. AgNet.
For more on using switchgrass for biomass production, see "Plant
Power," page 6 in the August issue of Hay & Forage Grower. Or click on
this link for a copy of the story: www.hayandforage.com/mag/farming_plant_power/
Weather Biggest Factor To Affect Slumbering
by Marvin Hall, Penn State University
By now forages in many parts of the country have been
"put to bed" for 2006 and producers are hoping their forages will have a
long winter nap. Energy production and storage for winter are finished
and there isn't much you can do now to harm or improve the condition of
your forage. The lot has been cast. Weather will now play the largest
role in determining how healthy your forage stands will look next
spring. The best-case scenario would be to have unsaturated soils with
6" of snow cover from mid-December until March. Lack of snow cover, wet
soil conditions and prolonged temperatures at or below zero could spell
disaster for "sleeping" forages.
Due to some fancy chemistry and metabolism, the buds on the crown or at
the base of the plant can withstand temperatures of about 5 degrees
before they begin to freeze to death. Snow cover and dry soils help
insulate buds so that even air temperatures below -10 won't cause buds
Saturated soils not only transmit cold temperatures to the buds quicker;
they are also more prone to ice sheeting. A frozen layer of ice over a
forage stand will restrict oxygen from reaching plant roots and
suffocate the plant. Wet soils are also much more prone to frost heaving
(repeated freezing and thawing of the soil, which pushes the crown above
the soil surface and eventually snaps the roots) than dry soils.
With the forages "in bed" for the winter, now is the time to focus on
other aspects of your farm. However, don't forget to conduct a thorough
maintenance inspection of your forage harvesting equipment this winter
because, once the forages wake up next spring, you'll be too busy.
Source: Penn State Field Crop News (fcn.agronomy.psu.edu/2006/fcn0627.cfm).
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Horse hay customers are finding it hard to afford hay,
reports Charles Roff, Old Dominion Hay Co., Smithfield, VA. "There have
been hobby horse people in our area trying to get out of horses; some
are even giving their horses away because they can't afford to keep them
right now," he says. He expects hay to be high-priced in the East this
winter. "The market has been high for quality hay," he says. "Quality is
down, too. We are paying more money for lower-quality hay compared to
what we've paid in previous years. There is plenty of junk hay out
Roff's region doesn't have a lot of hay growers. He says equipment costs
and labor challenges have caused a lot of small hay producers to fade
out of the picture. The largest seller of horse hay in Virginia, Roff
has to buy from out of state. Finding a good-quality product has been
challenging; he's been buying from Idaho, Wyoming, and Alberta, Canada,
this year. Freight rates haven't been cost-prohibitive because he
back-hauls. He found some good second-cutting hay in New York, but
otherwise wet conditions in the eastern U.S. have led to a shortage of
quality hay. "Some of the crops are still in the field. We need a good,
hard freeze," Roff says. He finds quality hay through the National Hay
Association. "I've been able to maintain alliances through NHA and have
been buying from some of the same people for years."
Contact Roff at 757-357-4878.
Hay growers in Dawson County had moisture early in the
season, but it dried up fast, says Bruce Smith, county extension agent,
Glendive. Dryland producers got one cutting; growers with irrigation at
least got second cuttings. Early cold weather also affected production.
Some hay is left from last year. "A lot of small grain fields ended up
getting made into hay, so a high percentage of the hay we have is wheat
and barley hay," Smith says.
Contact Smith at 406-377-4277.
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Business Succession Planning Seminar Is Dec.
How to keep a business going after an owner retires
will be the subject of a Dec. 14 succession planning seminar at North
Dakota State University's Carrington Research Extension Center. The NDSU
Extension Service's Center for Community Vitality and the Northcountry
Cooperative Development Fund are co-sponsors.
John Logue of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State
University will discuss how corporations can sell stock to employees to
keep businesses viable. He is an expert on Section 1042 rollovers, which
can defer capital gains taxes by selling at least 30% of a company's
stock to employees.
The seminar runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $10/person, which
includes a break and lunch. Registration deadline is Dec. 12. The first
six businesses that register can participate in a one-on-one
consultation with Logue. For more information, contact Kathleen Tweeten
at 701-328-9718 or email@example.com,
or Bill Patrie at 701-663-3886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Dec. 13-14 -- Kansas Hay & Grazing Conference,
Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson. Call Gary Kilgore at 620-431-1530.
**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. 22 -- Delmarva Hay and Pasture Conference, Delaware State
Fairgrounds, Harrington, DE. Contact Les Vough at 301-405-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at www.agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**Jan. 23 -- Tri-State Hay and Pasture Conference, Quality Inn,
Somerset, PA. Contact Les Vough at 301-405-1322 or email@example.com. Learn more at www.agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**Jan. 24 -- Southern & Central Maryland Hay and Pasture
Conference, Izaak Walton League, Waldorf, MD. Contact Les Vough at
301-405-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn
more at www.agnr.umd.edu/ForageEvents.
**Jan. 24-25 -- Heart Of America Grazing Conference, Holiday Inn,
Mount Vernon, IL. Contact Justin Sexten, University of Illinois, at
618-242-9310 or email@example.com.
**Jan. 30-31 -- 2007 Symposium and Annual Meeting for Wisconsin
Custom Operators, Midwest Forage Association, Professional Nutrient
Applicators Association of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Dells. For more
information, visit www.midwestforage.org.
** Jan. 31-Feb 3 -- 2007 Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade
Show, Nashville, TN. Learn more at www.beefusa.org/convscheduleofevents.aspx. Contact the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association at 303-694-0305.
**Feb. 6-7 -- The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association's
Mid-America Alfalfa Expo, Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney. Visit
www.alfalfaexpo.com or call Barb Kinnan at
**Feb. 7-8 -- Utah Hay & Forage Symposium, Holiday Inn, St.
George. Details are available at utahhay.usu.edu, or contact Thomas
Griggs at 435-797-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**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 -- Idaho Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Red Lion
Canyon Springs Hotel, Twin Falls. More details will be available at
**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.
**March 13-14 -- Midwest Hay Business Conference & Expo, KCI Expo
Center, Kansas City, MO. Learn more at hayconference.com/conference/index.htm.
**March 14-15 -- 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 email@example.com.
**March 21-22 -- Central Plains Dairy Expo, Sheraton Inn, Sioux
Falls, SD. Learn more at www.centralplainsdairyexpo.com/ or call Kathy Tonneson
**June 23-26 -- American Forage and Grassland Council and Northeast
Branch ASA & SSSA Annual Conference, Penn State Conference Center
and Hotel, State College. Call 800-944-AFGC or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Jan 27-Feb. 1, 2008 -- Joint Society for Range Management and
American Forage and Grassland Council Conference, Louisville, KY.
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