First cutting is moving along in central Indiana, according to Mark Holderfield of Holderfield Farms LLC, Cloverdale. "We cut about 75% of our hay last week," he says. "It is yielding about 30% of a typical first cutting. A fellow producer told us he got 137 bales from 15 acres of mix. Most of the alfalfa died in that field during the April freeze." Weed pressure is high throughout Holderfield's area, but there have been minimal insect issues.
Holderfield Farms targets horse owners. Hay is the only crop raised on the fourth-generation family farm. Customers can choose from pure alfalfa, alfalfa-grass mixtures, timothy or grass hays in small square bales. "We anticipate growing to around 45,000-50,000 bales by 2009," Holderfield reports. "We sell only to the equine market and don't try to be all things to everybody. I learned that during my years working for Intel, the largest semiconductor manufacturer in the world. I am using that (marketing) knowledge and applying it to agriculture."
Visit the Holderfield Farms Web site at www.holderfieldfarms.com/. Call Holderfield at 937-469-5862.
Producers in the southwestern U.S. are showing increased interest in forage crops, according to the Delta Farm Press. Forage-crop options include millet, corn for silage, sorghum silage and hay crops for dairy and beef cattle and horses. Hay prices have been extremely good the last two years, following two years of extreme drought. Hay provided good markets for failed corn and wheat last year.
"It's wet in the Southwest," says Ron Smith, editor of Southwest Farm Press. "This is the seventh spring I've lived in the Southwest and I have never seen it greener." Farmers are pleased with the amount of soil moisture available this year. Dry areas still exist in parts of West Texas and around Corpus Christi, but most areas have received good amounts of rainfall through winter and spring, according to Smith.