University of Nebraska Extension educator Monte Stauffer says he gets questions year-around from horse owners as to the type and quality of hay they should be feeding to their horses. Stauffer says there are several factors to consider.
An Equine Pasture and Hay Management Workshop hosted by the Athens County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council is going to be held Saturday, April 20 at Hocking College in Nelsonville.
The day-long workshop will be led by grazing specialist Bob Hendershot and will cover everything from pasture management, to pasture soil fertility, to horse nutrition on pasture.
For more information or to register contact the Athens County SWCD, 740-797-9686 or email.
The deadline to register is April 15.
The first official crop progress report of the season confirms the large deficits in soil moisture that Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are up against this spring.
Topsoil moisture supplies are called 37 percent very short, 43 percent short and 20 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture is rated 60 percent very short, 36 percent short and 4 percent adequate.
The report also rates Nebraska’s winter wheat crop as 49 percent poor or very poor, 41 percent fair and 10 percent good. Hay and forage supplies are 59 percent short to very short and 41 percent adequate.
The Illinois Forage Institute has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd in Galva, Illinois for producers who want to learn more about managing hayland and pastures. Presenters will be staff members from University of Illinois Extension, the USDA’s NRCS, forage industry companies, and there will be several beef producers giving presentations. There will also be commercial exhibits from the forage industry and exhibitors are still wanted.
The Illinois Forage Institute will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Black Hawk College – East Campus conference center in Galva on April 2nd. Pre-registration is going on through March 22nd.
Law enforcement officials in many rural areas have been dealing with more stolen property cases. In Missouri, the Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Unit has seen an upswing in thefts from farms and ranches. Sergeant Bruce Houston is in charge of that unit.
“With the economy the way it is there’s an uptick in stolen cattle and stolen hay,” he tells Brownfield Ag News, “The stolen cattle down south is really bad and, of course, there’s more row crops up north so it’s not quite as bad up there. But, we’ve been able to make some arrests there. We arrested three fellows last week up in north Missouri. There were 57 felony counts on each one, so hopefully they’ll do a lot of time because they’ve stolen a lot of cattle.”
In the three years since the Missouri Rural Crimes Unit was created with a $2 Million grant to assist local law enforcement, Houston tells Brownfield they’ve helped recover more than $5 Million in equipment and other rural property. Sergeant Houston spoke with Brownfield Ag News at the Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Missouri.
~To reach the Missouri Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Unit – call 1-888-484-8477
According to Laura Cobb, senior marketing representative at John Deere Ottumwa Works, the new 9 Series Round Balers offer customers a larger selection of machines that will handle a wide variety of forage and silage baling needs.
CLAAS, long recognized as an industry leader in hay and forage equipment, has made some new additions to its product line. They include the QUADRANT 3300 RC Large Square Baler and the ROLLANT 455 UNIWRAP Round Baler/Wrapper.
At Ag Connect in Kansas City, CLAAS product coordinator Matt Jaynes visited with us about these new products. We also discussed the growing demand for equipment that is coming from the biomass market.
Krone, NA President and CEO, Rusty Fowler, says he can’t say enough about the technology available for farmers today. Krone North America, based in Memphis, Tennessee, makes specialty hay and forage equipment. They belong to a German parent company that’s privately owned.
He tells Brownfield Ag News, “The technology cycle, in past years, might be five or six years before you really saw something new. In today’s world, in equipment manufacturing, the technology cycle is about two years. And, if you want to have a more productive operation and you want more efficiencies, you really have to take advantage of all the new technology.”
Fowler adds, “For a guy that used to sell tractors without cabs, I mean, I remember selling tractors and it was unusual for me to sell a cab tractor. Now, look at today. I can’t talk enough about technology.”
Krone is featuring their new model high-speed Big Square Baler which he says reflects Krone’s goals fo developing equipment for farmers that lowers their costs per unit of production.
Fowler is one of the equipment executives who got together years ago to develop the concept behind AG CONNECT. And that is, to bring everyone from the owners to other top executives to engineers and staff members to the expo so farmers can talk directly with them. Fowler says, “If someone wants to come to my exhibit and talk about not only what’s going on today but what’s going on in the future and how new technology can help them do what they want to do, that’s the purpose of Ag Connect.”
Fower is past chair of AEM, 2012/13 Ag Sector Board member and a 2013 member of the board of directors.
Addressing drought concerns, a livestock disaster bill has been introduced (Thursday night) by Senators Max Baucus of Montana, Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Missouri Senator Roy Blunt. It would extend ag disaster assistance programs that expired at the end of the 2011 fiscal year which were not part of the nine-month 2008 Farm Bill extension.
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president Mike Deering says they’re among the Missouri Ag groups pushing for this legislation. Deering tells Brownfield Ag News, “Along with Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Soybean, Missouri Pork, Missouri Corn, several other coalitions – we wrote a letter to our delegation in Washington, D.C. from Missouri and let them know that we have to allocate funding for disaster assistance. Yeah, it’s in the farm bill but there’s no funding for it.”
Deering says things are being done at the state level to provide assistance to drought-stricken cattle operations, but, he adds, no one can make it rain, “Looking for hay, we have a hay directory on our website. We’re doing everything we can to try to help our producers but we feel kind of helpless. There’s not a whole lot we can do.”
The bill would extend the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), and, the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program. It would also extend the (ELAP), the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance program (NAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).
Senators Baucus and Stabenow included a provision for a permanent extension of those programs in the Senate Farm Bill that passed last June.
Senator Blunt says Missouri has the second highest number of farms in the nation and the drought has taken a devastating toll on farm families in Missouri and nationwide. He says he “won’t stop fighting for critical disaster relief” to get farmers and ranchers “back on their feet again.”
Areas that needed moisture the most have not been getting it. According to the USDA’s drought monitor late last week, the area of drought in the U.S. expanded some. As of last Thursday, 61.8 percent of the country was in drought, up from 61.7 percent the week before. And, the areas of exceptional drought expanded.
There was essentially no change in the drought areas for cattle, hay and wheat. USDA meteorologist Mark Brusberg says, “Crop areas affected by drought really remained unchanged. The percent of the hay in drought stayed the same at 64%. Cattle in drought was 73%. And, winter wheat in drought was 63%. Really, there was no change in that. That sort of reinforces the fact that the areas that really need the rain have not been getting the rain.”
It remains to be seen whether the recent snows in areas of the Corn Belt will make a difference in soil moisture.