Don Allan, owner of Allan Hay, Sylvan Lake, Alberta, says he's getting quite a few calls for hay from Texas, Florida and Georgia as well as other states in the eastern U.S. "A lot of hay has moved across the border into Colorado from our area and we expect that there will be good export sales not only to the U.S. again this year, but to the Mideast where a lot of interest continues to come from.

"The current situation here is very wet," he continues. "We have had far more rain this spring than anyone in the area can ever remember. Much of the cropland has been too wet to seed. The cereal and oilseed crops that are up are very poor due to drowning in many areas. The hay crop looks good but the ground will need to continue to dry to enable us to cut in the lower areas. Hay cutting just started around June 30 with a better weather forecast than we have seen for a couple of months." Allan expects the humidity factor will be a challenge because so much water is laying in the fields. "The ground is saturated and any rain that comes runs off," he states. "We have sloughs where we have never seen them before."

Another challenge is for those who normally take the first cutting as silage. It's difficult to negotiate the heavier equipment across the fields without leaving ruts. The moisture is there for a good second cutting later in the summer, Allan says.

Last season, Allan Hay marketed 6,000 small square bales of hay and around 4,500 large round bales of hay and straw. Contact Allan at 403-887-1728 or email dballan@telus.net. Visit his Web site at www.AllanHay.com. Learn more about Alberta forages at www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app21/seltopic?cat1=Crops&cat2=Forages+%26+Range. The neighboring province, Saskatchewan, has a forage Web site at www.saskforage.ca/joomla/index.php .