Salvaging Round Bales In Wet Weather

As more rain hampers round-bale hay production in the Midwest, Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri, reminds growers of the advantages of wrapped baleage:

“More farmers are turning to round bale silage, or wrapped baleage, as a way to get hay harvested in a 24-hour period during this challenging time,” according to a University of Missouri Extension press release.

Last Day To Comment On Reduced-Lignin Alfalfa

Today, June 30, is the last day that comments will be heard on the petition for deregulation of alfalfa containing the reduced-lignin transgenic trait. Nearly 200 comments have been submitted to USDA. To add your voice or to view comments, visit

“We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available for public comment our plant pest risk assessment and our draft environmental assessment regarding a request from the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International seeking a determination of nonregulated status of alfalfa designated as event KK179, which has been genetically engineered to express reduced levels of guaiacyl lignin. We are soliciting comments on whether this genetically engineered alfalfa is likely to pose a plant pest risk,” the petition reads.

Warm- Vs. Cool-Season Grasses

There are advantages to using native warm-season grasses to fill in during the summer slump, when cool-season grasses peter out in pastures, according to the University of Arkansas (UA) Extension.

“Native grasses still provide forage production at reasonable high nutritive values compared to tall fescue, which is a cool-season perennial,” says Dirk Philipp, an UA animal scientist.

At the same time, a University of Missouri release quotes Craig Roberts, Extension forage specialist, mentioning that, while cool temps hurt first-cutting tall fescue yields, they allowed the June second-cutting fescue to flourish.

“ ‘The good news is cool weather and rains continue(d) well into June. Normally, rains taper off and temperatures rise in June. Growth almost stops on cool-season grasses. This year, we see some good second-cutting fescue hay,’ Roberts said. ‘Farmers who cut seed heads see excellent regrowth.’ ”

First-Hand Account From Hay & Forage Expo

Iowa farmer Jeff Ryan was on hand at Hay & Forage Expo last week in Boone, IA, and shares his humorous thoughts on the equipment-demo-heavy event in a blog at Farm Industry News.

"To get a better look at the machine, and to grab a representative handful of its output to truly see what kind of job it does, every farmer will get in as close as possible to get it before someone else does. We are competitive animals by nature."

Demand For Hay Still High In Dry West

Drought-suffering California dairies as well as exporters are working to lock in hay supplies and high prices continue to be the norm. Greg Sanders, USDA grain and livestock reporter, offers a June 30 update of last week’s prices in the Pacific Northwest at

“In the Columbia Basin hay report, this week we had 16,000 tons trade. Alfalfa domestic and export use was stayed to $10 higher. Premium export and dairy hay brought anywhere from $240 to $250 a ton or grass for feed storage brought $250 to $275. And Timothy large squares for export hay brought $260 to $280 and small squares of Timothy brought $290 to $320 for export. Oat hay large squares brought $170 a ton,” says Sanders in an audio report.

Keep Bales Away From Road Right Of Way

The South Dakota Department of Transportation warned growers to keep hay bales at least 30’ from roads’ painted shoulder stripes.

“Officials say when bales are left too close to the roadway it creates a safety hazard for motorists by limiting site distance and creating an obstruction should a vehicle leave the driving surface,” according to a recent statement.