Expo attendees browse machinery at the 2013 Hay & Forage Expo.
The timing of this year’s second hay cutting in Iowa could correspond well with the June 25-26 Hay & Forage Expo in Boone.
“Iowa has had some very timely rains, and this year’s hay crop looks really good,” says Dena Morgan, Expo marketing specialist. "We were able to get first cutting off right around Memorial Day and the end of May. We should be right on track to be ready in another week for the second cutting.”
Thousands of farmers will converge on 150 acres of alfalfa to watch numerous in-field demonstrations of mowing, conditioning, baling and hay handling equipment. Industry experts will also make presentations, and more than 80 exhibits by seed manufacturers, fertilizer companies, building and storage facility suppliers and more will be on hand.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are expected to attend this year’s show, which will be held at the Central Iowa Expo grounds.
“The Hay & Forage Expo is a demonstration-intensive show,” Morgan says. “If you're looking for a piece of equipment, it’s a great show because you’ll actually be able to see a lot of machines running in the fields.”
Other highlights will include two lunchtime educational presentations offered by Iowa State University (ISU) experts.
At 12:30 p.m., on June 25, Elwynn Taylor, ISU Extension climatologist, will present a weather outlook for 2014 and beyond. “People like to hear what his outlook is for the year,” Morgan says.
The next day during lunch, Matt Darr, ag biosystems engineer at ISU, will discuss corn stover and the sale of biomass to cellulosic biorefineries.
“A cellulosic ethanol plant is coming on line in Nevada, IA, later this fall,” Morgan explains. “I think a lot of farmers are going to be asking how they should harvest stover, what's the best way to store it, how much you should take off and how much you should leave.”
The Expo, the only two-day hay event in the nation, is sponsored by Hay & Forage Grower, Wallaces Farmer, Wisconsin Agriculturist and The Farmer.
Plans for this year's show are coming together nicely, but now it's all up to the weather, Morgan says.
“Typically, in June, we will have a little bit of rain at least one day” of the expo, she says. “Sometimes, on a rainy day, we can actually get a bigger crowd because people are not out cutting their own hay.”
Expo hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The show site is located off of Highway 30, east of Boone. Admission is free; parking is $10 per vehicle. For more information, visit www.HayExpo.com or call 866-264-7469.