First-cutting yields are down in Indiana, reports Mark Holderfield, Holderfield Farms, LLC, Cloverdale. "We completed first cutting last week," he says. "Yields continued to be about 30-40% of normal. I am able to monitor some larger hay fields on I-70 during my travels and most were being baled in big round bales. I can assume that is because of weed content as they were very weedy. I can't say how this will affect the equine market, but it can't be good." Holderfield says he never expected to be asking for rain after receiving 32.4" of rain last summer. However, his area is currently very dry and second-cutting regrowth is behind by about 10 days. "Customer demand continues to be strong, especially from the Southeast," he says. "We are having to say no and that is very hard to do when you have customers wanting your product."
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. Holderfield's goal is to grow to around 45,000-50,000 bales produced per year by 2009.
Visit the Holderfield Farms Web site at www.holderfieldfarms.com/. Call Holderfield at 937-469-5862.
Producers in southwestern Texas were able to bale hay for a time last week, but rain interrupted the process for many. Parts of the state received high winds and hail; however, beneficial weather conditions throughout most of the state helped farmers and cattle producers. In most regions, cattle are reported to be in good to excellent condition and adequate forage is available. There were no reports of supplemental feeding being required.
Rainfall of 0.2 to 2" was reported in the South Plains region of the state, along with hail and high winds in some locations. Available forage is excellent, and cattle condition is good to excellent in this area. Rains slowed wheat harvest in the Rolling Plains region. Warmer temperatures and good soil moisture have allowed bermudagrass and other warm-season grasses to take off. Livestock are in excellent condition as pastures continue to green up. Producers are starting to restock herds.
Soil moisture ranges from adequate to surplus in northern Texas. Stock ponds are full or nearly full, and recent rains have improved growing conditions for spring-planted crops and summer grasses. Bermudagrass and dallasgrass seem to be bouncing back. The rain has delayed wheat and oat harvests. Producers have had difficulty baling early season hay, but some hay cutting has resumed. Forage crops are in good condition. Cattle body condition looks good for this time of year. Pasture conditions are better than anticipated. Grasshoppers may be a problem in some areas.
Hay cuttings are yielding well in eastern Texas. Spraying of weeds in pastures and hayfields is under way. Grasshoppers are a problem in some pastures. The coastal hay harvest is producing excellent yields in central Texas. Range and pasture conditions are improving, but weeds are a problem. Hay baling is in full swing in southeastern Texas. Dry weather allowed many hayfields to be harvested, but the delay caused by previous wet weather has caused difficulties. Warm temperatures were reported during the day, with high humidity at night even though little or no rain fell.
Very hot and humid weather was reported throughout the southern region of the state. Soil moisture has been very short in general, but western parts of the region received an abundance of rain, which greened up ranges and pastures.
Source: Texas A&M University.