New Mexico

Hay demand has been excellent in New Mexico, says Doug Whitney, Roswell. "It is almost a name-your-price situation right now," he reports. He says it looks like the hay market should continue to stay strong. Corn silage supplies are short for area dairies, which is helping boost hay prices. Whitney has been president of the New Mexico Hay Association (NMHA) for six years. The NMHA recently hired Justin Boswell, Dexter, NM, as its executive director. "I am excited we have a person in place to do what needs to be done on behalf of our state's hay producers," Whitney states. "We will be able to do things legislatively that we couldn't do before. Our executive director can work with our existing members, in addition to helping build membership in our organization."

Contact Whitney at 505-622-8080 or Boswell at 505-840-9908.

Texas

Cold fronts continued to push across Texas, thwarting growth of wheat and native pastures, according to Texas Cooperative Extension. Livestock feeding is heavy and producers are worried about running out of hay. Extension personnel say sun and milder temperatures for winter pastures and livestock are needed after a number of cold and rainy days. Because of the shortage of forage put up last year, a lot of small grains will be baled or grazed, according to Rebecca Parker, extension regional program director for agriculture and natural resources in the state's East Region. "We're needing some warm temperatures for the small grains and, of course, some more moisture," she says. Extension ag agents across the state say hay supplies are running low for many producers, who are hoping for an early spring.

Supplemental feeding is continuing in the panhandle. Soil moisture is rated mostly adequate to surplus in that area. Range conditions are mostly fair, but range from very poor to excellent. Cattle are in fair-to-good condition, but stressed by cold and wet conditions. Meanwhile, cold temperatures returned to the Rolling Plains area, lowering forage growth and increasing supplemental feeding. In some areas, winter wheat has been grazed heavily due to poor range conditions. Hay is in short supply and the unpredictable weather has been hard on livestock. In other counties, ranges and pastures are in good condition and livestock are in good condition and gaining well.

In northern Texas, producers are concerned about having enough hay to finish the winter. The price of hay is $125 a roll in this part of the state. Range and pasture conditions are fair. The extended cold weather slowed pasture and crop growth slightly, and damaged some pastures. Winter pastures need more rainfall, along with sun and milder temperatures.

Some field preparation is under way for hay crops in west-central Texas. Most outside activities have slowed due to cold conditions. Cold weather has slowed most rangeland and pasture growth, but some winter grasses and forbs are starting to show. Supplemental feeding continues. Hay and other feeds are in very short supply. Stock tanks need water. Livestock are in fair condition.

Cold, overcast conditions stressed southeastern Texas hay supplies and stopped growth of winter annuals. The ground is still wet and temperatures dropped to 25 degrees. Rain has fallen every week this winter, making conditions hard for ranchers, who are having to feed hay because pastures are too wet to allow cattle to graze. Most ranchers weren't expecting this much rainfall, so they didn't set aside the hay they now need.

Cool, open weather continues in southwestern Texas, with good soil surface moisture as a result of 2.63" of rainfall received since Jan. 1. The soil profile is still dry. Forage availability has improved in this part of the state.

Source: Texas A&M University.