Hay growers attending last week’s Mid-America Alfalfa Expo in Kearney, NE, were upbeat because they’re sold out of last year’s crop and anticipate high prices for this year’s production. Paul Meyer, a commercial grower from West Point, NE, said he’s been out of hay since last fall. “I get calls every week from dairy and beef producers looking for hay," said Meyer, who grows 400 acres of alfalfa.

Another topic on the minds of many growers was $4/bu corn and the impact it will have on alfalfa acreage. A show of hands at one of the expo seminars revealed that a majority will stick with alfalfa. But a grower from south-central Nebraska said he knows of at least two farmers in his area who will park their balers and rev up their combines.

“We will definitely lose some acres to corn,” said Barb Kinnan, executive director of the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (NAMA). “But regardless of corn prices, many of our growers will stick with hay. They’re in it for the long haul.”

Attendance was down from last year’s count of 600, said Kinnan, but NAMA’s annual fund-raising auction brought in a record $67,000. Items sold were donated by machinery, seed and other companies. The money will fund NAMA activities in the coming year.

Call Kinnan at 800-743-1649 or visit www.Nebraska-alfalfa.com.