Rick Mooney

Editor, eHay Weekly

Freelance photojournalist Rick Mooney has been covering agricultural subjects for many of the country’s leading farm publications for 30 years. Raised on a small dairy farm in southern Wisconsin, his primary interests are dairy and hay and forage production. He became the editor of eHay Weekly in July 2008.

Full-Bale Samples Help Sell Hay 1
These New York hay growers ship a 40- to 50-lb bale to each potential customer so the quality of the product can be examined up front.
California Hay Market Report Continues – For Now
Hay buyers and sellers in California came within a whisker of losing one of the few tools they have for tracking hay prices in the state as the new year started. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced in mid-December that it would discontinue the California Weekly Hay Report as of Dec. 30. Last week, though, AMS officials announced they were reversing course and will continue publishing the report for the time being.
Washington Hay Group Readies For Annual Meeting
The Washington State Hay Growers Association, in conjunction with Washington State University, will hold its annual conference and trade show Jan. 11-12 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick
Input Calculator Available For Wisconsin Alfalfa Growers
Wisconsin farmers can expect input costs for growing alfalfa and other crops to rise by about 15% in 2012, says University of Wisconsin Extension educator Ken Barnett
Canadian Forage Group Gets Funding Boost
A total of $85,000 – to enhance the international competiveness of forage producers – has been awarded to the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA. The funding, from the Canadian government’s AgriMarketing Program, is to help the group establish new business contacts and create new export opportunities to increase farmer profitability.
Action Picking Up At Midwestern Hay Auctions
After a somewhat sluggish-to-steady fall, traffic has been increasing at Upper Midwestern hay auctions in recent weeks. “Compared to a year ago, the number of runs we had through here this fall was down substantially from a year ago,” says Dale Leslein, manager of the weekly hay auctions at Dyersville Sales Co., Dyersville, IA. “Typically, we’ll move about 1,000 tons/week through here. But for most of the fall we were averaging more like 300-400 tons.” Declining hay acreage in the region over the past two growing seasons likely played a role, Leslein says. “Hay prices were pretty depressed and that caused people to flip a lot of acres into corn and other grain crops. We figure that somewhere around 70% of the hay growers using the auction either cut back or exited the business entirely in the past two years.” In recent weeks, he says, sales volume increased as area farmers wrapped up fall fieldwork. Earlier this month, 800 tons were sold at a sale.
Videos Boost Hay Web-Site Sales
Being able to show potential customers the hay they're considering actually helps sell it, says hay buyer Brian Foss, of Northern Plains Forage in Volin, SD
California Hay Prices May Not Have Peaked
There's still room for upward hay-price movement despite the fact that dairy hay prices have gone through the roof in California this year, says Norman Beach, vice-president of the San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers Association in Tracy, CA.
Supply Shortfall Dims Hay Export Prospects
By just about every measure, the past three years have been heady times for the U.S. hay export business. But tight supplies have exporters wondering if the good times will last much longer
Oregon Hay Group Turns To Facebook
The Oregon Hay and Forage Association (OHFA) has joined the growing ranks of other hay industry groups and businesses by establishing a presence on the social networking service Facebook.
Where’s The Dairy Hay?
Dairy producers looking to line up top-quality alfalfa hay for fall and winter shouldn’t give up hope despite USDA’s August Crop Production report
Head Off Hay Payment Troubles
With hay at high prices in many parts of the country, the risk of customers backing out on payments is becoming more of a concern for hay growers everywhere. Developing a formalized, professional approach to utilize with every transaction is your best bet for heading off potential problems, says Roger Cramer, senior vice president of risk management for Northwest Farm Credit Services in Spokane, WA.
Freight Costs To Ship Hay Can Be Frightful
Long-distance transportation costs can affect hay’s marketability – something North Dakota hay grower John Flemmer experienced last winter. Flemmer; his brother, LeRoy; and his son, Evan, grow alfalfa-grass hay on 1,500 acres near Golden Valley. Traditionally, the Flemmers have marketed large round hay bales to local ranches
Hay Supply Scramble Intensifies
The lack of hay across the U.S. can in part be blamed on too little rain – or too much – as well as extreme hot or cool temperatures this growing season. But the loss of hay acreage to more lucrative crops has also hurt supply and spurred demand
Planned Biofuel Plant Will Use Hay
Prairie Skies Biomass Co-op, a grower cooperative in south-central Minnesota, recently announced plans to build a third-generation biofuels plant. The plant, to be located in Madelia, will use native grasses, alfalfa, grass hay, wheat straw, corn stover and other biomass materials to produce gasoline, diesel fuel and ammonia.

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