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hayandforage.com

November 2019

Is fescue toxicosis a problem in hay? pg 6 NAFA Alfalfa Guide center insert Hoosier hay pg 26

Published by W.D. Hoard & Sons Co.

F1 1 Cover Nov 2019.indd 1

Rethinking particle size pg 30 10/31/19 10:56 AM


Make the Switch! Learn why so many growers are switching to Alforex™ varieties with Hi‑Gest® alfalfa technology.

1 Higher

Digestibility Alforex™ varieties with Hi‑Gest® alfalfa technology average 5-8% more leaves than conventional varieties which can result in the following: •

5-10% increased rate of fiber digestion*

22% reduction in indigestible fiber at 240 hours (uNDF240)**

3-5% more crude protein**

2 More Tonnage Alforex varieties with Hi‑Gest alfalfa technology provide farms flexibility to adjust to aggressive harvest systems to maximize yield and quality, or to a more relaxed schedule focused on tonnage. Either way, growers put the odds of improved returns per acre and animal performance in their favor.

3 More Milk While management and feeding practices vary widely, it’s common for dairies feeding Alforex varieties with Hi‑Gest alfalfa technology to report a positive production response from their cows when alfalfa makes up a higher percentage of the ration. Based on the increased rate of digestion, you could expect 2.5 lbs. more milk per cow, per day.1 And while not every producer experiences this level of improvement, some producers report even better results.

Ready to bring higher digestibility, more tonnage and more milk to your farm? Visit us at www.alforexseeds.com or call us at 1-800-824-8585. *The increased rate of fiber digestion, extent of digestion and crude protein data was developed from replicated research and on-farm testing. During the 2015 growing season at West Salem, WI and Woodland, CA, the following commercial dormant, semi-dormant and non-dormant alfalfa varieties were compared head-to-head with Alforex varieties with Hi-Gest alfalfa technology for rate of digestion, extent of digestion and percent crude protein: America’s Alfalfa Brand AmeriStand 427TQ; Croplan Brands LegenDairy XHD and Artesia Sunrise; Fertizona Brand Fertilac; S&W Seed Brands SW6330, SW7410 and SW10; and W-L Brands WL 319HQ and WL 354HQ. Also, during the 2015 growing season, 32 on-farm Alforex varieties with Hi-Gest alfalfa technology hay and silage samples were submitted to Rock River Laboratory, Inc., for forage analysis. The results for rate of digestion, extent of digestion and percent crude protein were averaged and compared to the 60-day and four-year running averages for alfalfa in the Rock River database which included approximately 1,700 alfalfa hay and 3,800 silage 60-day test results and 23,000 hay and 62,000 silage test results in the four-year average. **Crude protein=60-day running averages and uNDF240=four-year running average 1 Combs, D. 2015. Relationship of NDF digestibility to animal performance. Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference, 101-112. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5350/f0a2cb916e74edf5f69cdb73f091e1c8280b.pdf.

™ ® Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies or their respective owners. © 2019 Corteva.

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October 22, 2019 3:17 PM


November 2019 · VOL. 34 · No. 6

MANAGING EDITOR Michael C. Rankin ART DIRECTOR Todd Garrett ONLINE MANAGER Patti J. Hurtgen DIRECTOR OF MARKETING John R. Mansavage ADVERTISING SALES Kim E. Zilverberg kzilverberg@hayandforage.com Jenna Dietel-Zilverberg jdietel@hayandforage.com Jan C. Ford jford@hoards.com

18

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Patti J. Kressin pkressin@hayandforage.com

Before building a hay barn, give some thought to your site plan. Morgan Hayes with the University of Kentucky offers some useful tips to consider during the planning process.

EDITORIAL OFFICE 28 Milwaukee Ave. West, Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538 WEBSITE www.hayandforage.com EMAIL info@hayandforage.com PHONE (920) 563-5551

W.D. HOARD & SONS

Plan ahead before siting a hay barn

PRESIDENT Brian V. Knox

DEPARTMENTS 4 First Cut 8 Dairy Feedbunk 10 Feed Analysis 11 Beef Feedbunk

26

12

In the valley of green gold

California’s Intermountain Region is a mecca for growing alfalfa.

20 Alfalfa Checkoff 25 Pasture Ponderings

Hoosier hay from the land of grain

28 Forage Gearhead

The purchase of a used Steffen Bale Conversion System changed the business model for this Indiana family.

34 Research Roundup 35 Machine Shed 46 Forage IQ 46 Hay Market Update

6

IS FESCUE TOXICOSIS A PROBLEM IN HAY?

22

ENDOPHYTES PROVIDE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES

10

RETHINKING DRY MATTER

24

GOOD SEED OUTLOOK FOR NEW PLANTINGS

11

LOCOWEED IS A PROBLEM ON MANY FRONTS

28

FAST-PACED FARMING

16

ENHANCING FEEDOUT STABILITY: WHAT’S NEXT?

30

RETHINKING FORAGE PARTICLE SIZE

20

POULTRY LITTER BENEFITS ALFALFA

32

FORAGE CRABGRASS FINDS THE ROAD NORTH

ON THE COVER Northern California farmer Brandon Fawaz makes over 1,500 acres of hay per year in the Scott Valley and owns a retail crop input sales and service business. He makes mostly 3-tie small square bales for the equine and retail markets, but also makes large square bales for dairies. Read more about Fawaz’s practices and his hay industry thoughts starting on page 12. Photo by Mike Rankin

HAY & FORAGE GROWER (ISSN 0891-5946) copyright © 2019 W. D. Hoard & Sons Company. All rights reserved. Published six times annually in January, February, March, April/May, August/September and November by W. D. Hoard & Sons Co., 28 Milwaukee Ave., W., Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538 USA. Tel: 920-563-5551. Fax: 920-563-7298. Email: info@hayandforage.com. Website: www.hayandforage. com. Periodicals Postage paid at Fort Atkinson, Wis., and additional mail offices. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified subscribers may subscribe at: USA: 1 year $20 U.S.; Outside USA: Canada & Mexico, 1 year $80 U.S.; All other countries, 1 year $120 U.S. For Subscriber Services contact: Hay & Forage Grower, PO Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 USA; call: 920-563-5551, email: info@hayandforage.com or visit: www.hayandforage.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HAY & FORAGE GROWER, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W., Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538 USA. Subscribers who have provided a valid email address may receive the Hay & Forage Grower email newsletter eHay Weekly.

November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 3

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FIRST CUT

One thing INCREASE yields up to 20% to 30% !

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Word from the field “We got 184 more ton on a 172 acre pivot then last year that’s a 35% plus increase on just one cutting.” – Rivers End Ranch LLC, Lakeview, OR

For Information call: Dave Ross 707-373-2200 dave@arableone.com ArableONE is a trademark of Arable Technologies, Inc.

FAVORITE movie of mine is the 1991 flick “City Slickers,” which starred the likes of Billy Crystal (Mitch) and Jack Palance (Curly). It documented the escapades of three insecure and unhappy city dwellers (Mitch among them) who sought to solve their problems by signing up for an old-fashioned Western cattle drive. In one scene, Mitch finds himself alone with the always gruff trail boss, Curly, as they are tasked to find a stray cow. Their conversation went something like this: Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? (holds up one finger) This. Mitch: Your finger? Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, and the rest don’t mean nothin’ (that last word was actually a bit different in the movie). Mitch: But what is the “one thing?” Curly: That’s what you have to find out. As Mitch eventually discovers, that “one thing” may be unique to the individual. If we were to extend this concept to the forage industry, that “one thing” is a pretty simple answer: forage quality. More often than not, most of what we do, buy, sell, and research relates to improving forage quality. Even if yield is a primary focus, it’s rarely evaluated without the context of forage quality. This is true for both machine-harvested and grazing systems. It is also true that forage quality is a relative term: Making gains in forage quality means something different on the Western range compared to a Northeast dairy farm. Forage quality is simple, yet complicated. It’s simple from the standpoint that there is one primary driver: plant maturity. Cut or graze too late, and forage quality, along with livestock performance or the price received for that forage, suffers. But then there’s the complicated part, not the least of which is environment

Mike Rankin Managing Editor

and weather. Too hot, dry, cold, or wet can all take their toll on forage quality in both the plant itself and perhaps the inability to get it harvested. Other than irrigation, there’s little recourse in our control of environmental factors; however, we can and do try to beat the weather. The growth of haylage and baleage as a storage option is largely a mitigation strategy for shortening wilting times. The result: improved forage quality by avoiding rained-on hay or a delayed cutting date. Both species and variety selection play a role in forage quality, but it’s often minimal in comparison to plant maturity. That said, this is a controllable factor and one that should never be undervalued. Even small and moderate gains in forage quality can often improve returns. Species such as ryegrass and reduced-lignin alfalfa varieties are examples of research-proven forage quality stars. There are others as well. Here’s another complication. After achieving a high level of forage quality, it can be lost in handling and storage. In baseball vernacular, it’s like losing a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth — and it happens all too often. Researchers continue to find ways to improve forage quality. Although it’s impossible to turn bad forage into good, there may be ways for the animal to better utilize lower quality forage, and it relates to particle size (read more about this on page 30). An underlying truth of the forage enterprise is that it’s far easier to lose forage quality than to achieve it. Another underlying truth: Forage quality is the “one thing” that will drive profitability, regardless of forage utilization. •

Write Managing Editor Mike Rankin, 28 Milwaukee Ave., P.O. Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 call: 920-563-5551 or email: mrankin@hayandforage.com

4 | Hay & Forage Grower | November 2019

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by Gary Bates

T

ALL fescue is the dominant forage species used in the eastern United States. Being a cool-season grass, it provides grazing during the spring and fall for many livestock producers around the nation. The variety Kentucky 31 (KY-31), released in the 1940s, made a tremendous impact on the forage and livestock industry. Most people familiar with KY-31 tall fescue recognize that it has many positive attributes, but there are also a couple of negative issues that come along with the variety.

A good news, bad news endophyte In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, it was discovered that KY-31 tall fescue is infected with a fungal endophyte now known as Epichloe coenophiala. This endophyte helps the plant be more persistent compared to other cool-season grass species, or even its noninfected counterparts. Various research has shown that infected plants are more tolerant of drought, insects, and diseases. This improved persistence was one of the main characteristics that helped KY-31 be the predominant forage variety across a large portion of the nation. There are a few animal problems associated with grazing infected KY-31 tall fescue, however. In ruminants, the impacts include poor reproduction, reduced milk yield, reduced growth, and elevated body temperatures. In horses, the impacts are limited to pregnant females, causing longer gestation

length, thickened placentas, foaling difficulties, weak foals, and agalactia. The various animal symptoms from grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue are known collectively as fescue toxicosis.

Alkaloids are the culprit Fescue toxicosis is caused by ergot alkaloids produced by the naturally occurring endophyte. Many scientists think that ergovaline is the primary alkaloid causing the issues, but there may be others involved. Research has shown that KY-31-infected tall fescue contains alkaloids all year, but the level is particularly high in the spring when seedheads are produced. The practical result of this is that animals grazing tall fescue without the toxic endophyte will perform better than cattle grazing KY-31 infected tall fescue every season of the year. But the impact of the endophyte is much greater in spring and early summer, when tall fescue is producing seedheads. There have been many developments and recommendations to reduce or eliminate fescue toxicosis. Interseeding clovers will reduce the impact of the endophyte on cattle production, while using one of the tall fescue varieties infected with a nontoxic endophyte will virtually eliminate the problem. Many producers are aware of the issue of fescue toxicosis and manage to deal with it in their grazing animals.

But what about fescue hay? The question has come up recently about the toxicity of KY-31 infected tall fescue hay. Remember, the period when alkaloid levels are spiking in tall fescue

Mike Rankin

IS FESCUE TOXICOSIS A PROBLEM IN HAY? is also the time when most producers are making their first cutting of hay. Is the relative toxicity of KY-31 tall fescue for grazing similar to tall fescue that is stored as dry hay? Research from the University of Missouri indicates that ergovaline and total ergot alkaloid levels decline significantly when tall fescue is cut, dried, and baled for hay. In their study, alkaloid levels dropped between approximately 30 to 60 percent when tall fescue was made for hay. A previous Missouri study showed that the majority of the decline occurred within the first 30 days. It is important to realize that alkaloids were still present in the hay, sometimes to the level that there would be symptoms of fescue toxicosis. There were some situations in which the levels were reduced enough that any fescue toxicosis symptoms would be minimal.

Methods to reduce hay alkaloid levels These research projects, along with a few others, have given some practical methods to reduce the toxicity level of KY-31 tall fescue hay. Here are a few practices that can be used to lower the alkaloid level in tall fescue hay. 1. Raise the cutting height to 3 inches. Cutting tall fescue hay to leave GARY BATES The author is the director of the University of Tennessee Beef and Forage Center.

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a 3-inch stubble has long been recommended to help improve the persistence of a hayfield stand. But there’s another good reason to keep cutterbars above 3 inches. Research in Missouri and Kentucky has shown that often the highest levels of alkaloids are found in the bottom 3 inches of the plant. Raising the mower to leave the bottom 3 inches of forage will not only lower toxicity but improve stand persistence and overall hay quality. 2. Delay feeding for at least one month. During the haymaking process and storage, alkaloid levels will drop significantly over the first month, then slowly for the next 18 months. Even though tall fescue hay is usually not fed within the first month after it is produced, if conditions require hay feeding, using older tall fescue hay first will help minimize the alkaloid intake by animals. 3. Ammoniate the hay. Many producers have used ammoniation as a way to improve the digestibility of low-quality forage. Craig Roberts and his co-workers at the University of Missouri found that ammoniation also significantly reduced the ergovaline and total ergot alkaloid levels in tall fescue hay. While this may not be a tool the majority of hay producers will utilize, it could be important for producers that have generally high levels of alkaloids in their tall fescue along with the equipment and ability to ammoniate their hay. 4. Seed clovers in tall fescue hayfields. As mentioned earlier, interseeding clovers into infected tall fescue pastures is recognized as a strategy to reduce fescue toxicosis. Part of this impact may be due to the utilization of the nitrogen fixation ability of the clovers as a replacement of inorganic nitrogen application, which has been shown through research to raise the alkaloid level in fescue. Using clovers as the nitrogen source for spring growth will help eliminate the large amount of nitrogen applied at one time, which increases the alkaloid content of the tall fescue crop.

Do something Fescue toxicosis is a major issue for every producer that utilizes tall fescue in their forage program. Some producers have chosen to eliminate the problem by using only tall fescue varieties infected with nontoxic endophytes, or possibly choosing other forage species. Many producers still utilize KY-31 infected tall fescue in their grazing and hay programs. The recommendations listed here will not totally eliminate the risk of fescue toxicosis, but they will provide tools to minimize the losses when utilizing KY-31 endophyte-infected tall fescue hay during their winter feeding programs. •

Ergovaline levels (ppb)

Erovaline levels (ppb) in KY-31 infected tall fescue on May 17, Lexington, Ky. 1,800 1,600 1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0

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DAIRY FEEDBUNK

by Matt Akins and Chelsey Hribar

There’s potential for grazing dairy heifers

T

HERE seems to be growing interest in grazing dairy heifers, especially in areas looking to utilize perennial forages to protect water resources. In addition to environmental benefits, other reasons include getting heifers off concrete to reduce hoof wear and lameness, reducing labor and feed costs, and potentially improving health after calving. The cost to raise heifers is substantial. In a 2015 survey of Wisconsin dairy producers and heifer growers, daily costs were $2.20 to 2.75 for 300- to 900-pound heifers (weaning to 15 months old) and $3 to 3.50 for heifers over 900 pounds. Feed and labor made up a significant portion of these costs with feed accounting for 54 percent and labor being 16 percent of the total outlay. Data from the University of Minnesota and Cornell University has shown reduced costs for grazing dairy heifers due to lower feed, labor, and machinery inputs. Both of these studies supplemented heifers while on pasture to maintain growth between 1.7 and 2 pounds per day. Heifers on pasture should be expected to have similar growth to a confinement system in order to keep heifers on track for breeding and attaining an optimal weight prior to calving. Research at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Marshfield Agricultural Research Station has addressed grazing heifer growth for several years.

A tale of two grasses In a project to evaluate Hidden Valley meadow fescue, a three-year study with the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center and UW-Madison compared meadow fescue to Haymaster orchardgrass grown as monocultures. Twenty-four heifers (5 to 6 months old, weighing 550 pounds) were grazed each year. Our stocking rate of 1.6 heifers per acre stretched the available forage with lower residues remaining than desired at the end of the grazing seasons. In spring of 2017 and 2018, grazing started one to two weeks later than desired, which was likely due to insufficient residue in the fall that slowed regrowth in spring. Heifers were

moved every three to four days to a new paddock with a rotation length of 35 days. Only a mineral supplement was provided with no other concentrates or forages fed. Nitrogen was applied in late June and late August each year to stimulate growth in summer and fall. Available forage when the heifers entered a paddock was on average higher for meadow fescue (1,350 pounds of dry matter [DM] per acre) than orchardgrass (1,210 pounds of DM per acre), with total forage yield being similar at about 6,200 pounds of DM per acre. Orchardgrass pastures were ready a week earlier in spring than the meadow fescue. As expected, meadow fescue had better forage quality with lower neutral detergent fiber (NDF, 53 percent), higher NDF digestibility (67 percent of NDF), and higher crude protein (CP, 14.8 percent) than orchardgrass (56 percent NDF, 64 percent NDF digestibility, and 14.1 percent CP). Heifer growth was similar between orchardgrass (1.63 pounds per day) and meadow fescue (1.72 pounds per day), but there was variation with heifers grazing orchardgrass having lower gains (1.49 pounds per day) than meadow fescue (1.78 pounds per day) in 2017. In spring 2017, it was very wet, which delayed clipping when forages headed out. This led to more mature growth and lower production, especially for orchardgrass. Meadow fescue headed out later and forage quality was less affected by the delayed clipping. Heifers also seemed more apt to consume the meadow fescue stems. Use of later maturing varieties may help slow heading and maintain higher quality forage if clipping or harvest is delayed. The heifer growth was slightly lower than the target of 1.8 to 2.2 pounds per day for the Holstein heifers, which may have benefited from a lower stocking rate or the use of a forage or concentrate supplement when grass growth slowed. Inclusion of a legume in the pasture may also have improved productivity by providing nitrogen for the grass and raising the protein content of the forage. In another project, we looked at the

growth of heifers grazing a mixed forage pasture (meadow fescue, perennial ryegrass, festulolium, red clover, and white clover). Sixteen 6-month-old heifers were grazed on a 16-acre pasture in 2017 and 2018. The stocking rate was not high enough to keep ahead of the forage growth, so forage was harvested from part of the pasture once the grasses headed out in 2017. A rotation length of 35 to 45 days was used with heifers grazing three to four days on each paddock. No concentrate or forage supplement was provided to the heifers, and no nitrogen fertilizer was applied to the pasture. There was plenty of forage available with an average of 2,600 pounds of DM per acre and a residue of 1,330 pounds DM per acre left in the pasture after each grazing move. A higher stocking rate could have been used to improve utilization, as there was surplus forage for much of the season.

Mixed pastures are dynamic Forage quality was high with an average of 46 percent NDF, 60 percent NDF digestibility, and 19 percent CP. Together, the high forage availability and quality led to heifer growth of 2 pounds of gain per day. It should be noted that in 2018 the pasture had a greater proportion of red clover as heifers grazed the more palatable grasses in 2017. With the high clover content, a few of the heifers bloated in the fall with cooler temperatures and very immature growth. Mixed pastures will change over time as animals graze more palatable species and may require reseeding of desired species or a shift in management to favor those species. A faster rotation can be used to minimize overgrazing of more palatable species and/ or nitrogen can be applied to encourage greater grass growth. As with any heifer program, it is important to monitor heifer growth to ensure they are meeting growth targets and adjust pasture management as needed or possibly provide supplemental feeds. • MATT AKINS Akins (pictured) is an extension dairy specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Hribar is a graduate research assistant at UW-Madison.

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FEED ANALYSIS

by John Goeser

Rethinking dry matter

W

ATER does not contribute to your forage economic value when balancing diets or pricing forage. Instead, the water is dried off, and it’s the grams (g) of nutrients and minerals per 100 g of total feed that drive the economic and nutritional value for your feed per ton. Think of this like the fuel gauge on your truck. The remaining fuel volume is measured with a float sensor and related back to the total tank volume (for example, 1/4 or 1/2 tank). To get down to business or balance diets, the water must be accounted for but only so that dry matter (DM) is determined. In most cases, moisture is determined indirectly as weight lost after drying. In this practice, the sample is dried and the sample weight left after drying is compared to the original starting weight. The process is visually depicted in Figure 1 and the math looks like this: • Weigh out 100 g wet forage • Dry the forage to a stable weight

• Weigh the residual forage (in this case, 35 g) • Assumed DM (weight left after drying) = 35 g divided by 100 g = 35 percent Theoretically, the process highlighted above is simple. Yet, the compounds that dry off silage and haylage samples are more than just water, and not all ovens or drying techniques are created equal. Ensiling feeds creates fermentation acids, alcohols, and volatile nitrogen compounds from carbohydrates and protein. The sweet, alcohol, or stinky smells with silages are all volatile compounds. These compounds have nutritional value but are volatilized to various extents when samples are dried.

Accuracy is a must There are numerous research papers, dating as far back as 80 years, describing errors associated with forced-air oven drying and how to account for these. Yet, in the past 15 to 30 years, this knowledge has been lost and isn’t taken into account when valuing for-

Figure 1. Sample volume (g) relative to resulting dry matter measure

Figure 2. Actual dry matter (g), accounting for non-water volatile compound lost during drying

Total weight (g)

Total weight (g)

100 95 90 85 80 75 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 0

Dried weight (g)

Weight loss upon drying, %

65/100 = 65% Assumed moisture

35 30 25 20 15 10 0

35/100 = 35% Assumed dry matter

100 95 90 85 80 75 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 0

Dried weight (g)

35 30 25 20 15 10 0

Weight loss upon drying, %

Weight loss upon drying, %

65/100 = 65% Moisture and volatiles

60/100 = 60% Moisture only

ages or balancing diets. The basic situation is visually depicted in Figure 2, which showcases an example silage with 5 units that were incorrectly measured as moisture. These 5 units, assumed to be moisture, are actually volatile nonwater compounds vaporized during drying. This is just one example and results can vary substantially. When correcting for the vaporized nonwater compounds, the silage dry matter becomes 40 percent and not the 35 percent as might be estimated by on-farm forced air techniques. The range in nonwater volatile compound losses (or DM error) associated with different oven drying techniques can be as little as zero with fresh feed or as great as 10 units or more with extensively fermented feeds that contain considerable fermentation compound levels. The range also differs with drying techniques. This may be scary to recognize as there are millions of tons of forage, and hundreds of millions of dollars exchanged for forages valued on a dry matter basis. Yet all is not lost. In practice, your farm can deal with accuracy questions by turning your attention to recognizing the issues in play and then agreeing upon a repeatable DM approach. Use a consistent approach and determine DM as close to harvest as possible. Do not wait until the harvest has started and the choppers are rolling or wait until the feed has fermented and fermentation compounds contribute to DM errors. If buying fermented forage, agree upon a DM protocol prior to negotiating price. Work with your nutrition and agronomic consultants, forage growers, or brokers and host a strategic business meeting ahead of the growing season or negotiations. Develop an agreement for a consistent DM determination approach. Focus your attention on an approach that provides both the most accurate and repeatable results to value your forages or balance diets. This may be an on-farm approach or working with a reputable feed analysis laboratory. • JOHN GOESER

35/100 = 35%, left over DM

40/100 = 40%, Actual dry matter

The author is the director of nutrition research and innovation with Rock River Lab Inc., and adjunct assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Dairy Science Department.

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BEEF FEEDBUNK

by Ashley Wright

Locoweed is a problem on many fronts

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OUND across western North America, locoweed (also called milkvetch) is an ever-present concern for livestock grazers, particularly in the early spring and late fall when other forage sources are less palatable or not yet available. While there are over 300 plants belonging to the genera Oxytropis and Astragalus (North America), and Swainsona (Australia), only around 20 species are associated with locoism in livestock. The toxic compound responsible for locoism, swainsonine, is synthesized by an endophyte fungus that inhabits the locoweed plant. The compound impairs several cellular processes, including enzymes that metabolize sugars and carbohydrates, which ultimately disrupt organ systems, including the nervous system, digestive system, and reproductive organs. These perennial plants feature a long tap root with grouped odd-pinnate compound leaves that are 8 to 12 inches long. Flowers are white or purple and resemble those of pea plants, which are in the same family. Some species of Astragalus are also selenium accumulators, creating confusion around livestock poisonings caused by the toxin swainsonine (the toxin responsible for locoism) or selenium toxicity.

Locoweed

Further complicating the issue, there are approximately a dozen species of Astragalus that can produce a nitrotoxin compound, while the rest are completely harmless and in fact are good sources of nutrition for grazing livestock. Differentiating between some of these species can be very difficult. Unlike most toxic plants, locoweed is relatively palatable to most classes of livestock and animals can become

habituated to consuming it. Poisonings typically occur in early spring before other forages are readily available, or in late fall when other forages have matured out for the winter. Locoweed seeds can “bank� in the soil for many years and germinate quickly following unusually wet seasons. This leads to some years seeing especially large numbers of locoweeds and cases of locoweed poisoning. The plant remains toxic when dried.

Many symptoms Poisoning from locoweeds is a chronic process, and animals must consume the plant regularly over a period of weeks. Signs of toxicity include odd or erratic behavior; extreme nervousness; a slow, staggering gait; staring; depression; weight loss; and lack of coordination. At higher altitudes, cattle may be more prone to brisket disease when consuming locoweeds. Locoweed poisoning also negatively affects both the female reproductive processes and spermatogenesis (the formation of sperm), causing bulls and rams to be temporarily infertile for up to 90 days after consumption. The toxin causes reduced ovarian function leading to lengthened estrus cycles and decreased pregnancy rates. Pregnant animals may abort their fetus or give birth to offspring with mental and skeletal deformities. Additionally, the toxin is transferred through milk where it can negatively affect nursing calves, foals, or lambs. Locoism is diagnosed primarily through displayed symptoms and positive identification of toxin-producing locoweeds grazed by the animals. While it is possible to detect the toxin swainsonine in blood serum, the rapid metabolism and short half-life of the compound severely limits the usefulness of testing blood samples. There is no treatment for locoweed poisoning beyond removing affected livestock from access. Animals that are severely affected may never recover fully and continue to exhibit residual behavior patterns that do not disappear for several weeks, even when removed from locoweed sources.

If livestock recover enough to enter the food chain, they should be withheld from slaughter for a minimum of 28 days with no access to locoweed to allow the toxin to completely clear from all tissues.

Check horse pastures Horses are especially sensitive to locoweed poisoning, and often demonstrate more severe neurological effects than cattle and sheep. Affected horses may develop dangerous and violent behavior patterns and extreme nervousness, making them permanently unsafe to handle or ride. Limited research has also shown that horses are more likely to seek out and consume locoweed. Therefore, horse pastures should especially be checked regularly for signs of locoweed infestation. Horses should not be allowed to graze any locoweed-infested pasture until the plant has been eradicated. The most effective means of locoweed control is to restrict access to the plant by moving livestock to another less infested pasture, especially during critical times when locoweed is likely to be more palatable than other forages. Additionally, take steps to prevent overgrazing on locoweed infested areas so that livestock are not forced to begin consuming it. Livestock that begin grazing locoweed may become habituated to consuming it. These animals should be removed from the herd; they may influence other animals to begin consuming locoweed. Herbicide treatment is very effective for controlling locoweed when applied at the correct time; however, large-scale application can be difficult or costly, and the application must be repeated yearly due to the seed banks present in the soil. Some producers in heavily infested areas have found regular herbicide treatments to be beneficial in preventing economic losses to their operations. • For additional information on locoweed poisoning, visit bit.ly/HFG-locoweed. ASHLEY WRIGHT The author is an area assistant with the University of Arizona based in Cochise County.

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IN THE VALLEY OF GREEN GOLD by Mike Rankin

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ESTLED in the Marble Mountains of northern California lies the Scott Valley. At the valley’s northern tip, you’ll find the small community of Fort Jones. It’s there that the valley takes a sharp and narrow dog leg to the west toward the Pacific Ocean. Back in the mid-1850s, this valley was overrun with miners in search of gold. These days, the gold in the valley stands green in the form of irrigated alfalfa fields that dominate the landscape between the two mountain ranges. Brandon Fawaz — the son of a highway patrolman and school principal — has lived in the valley since he was 4 years old. His family owned a 20-acre property and rented 15 acres to a neighbor who made hay. “All I wanted was a pig to show at the county fair,”

Fawaz mused. “My parents, on the other hand, wanted no part of swine. I always liked machinery, so when I got to high school, my parents cosigned a loan for me to buy a used bale wagon, and I began hauling hay.” It was that bale wagon that morphed into an expansive business that now includes commercial hay production and sales, custom haymaking, and a crop input sales and field application enterprise. Fawaz’s home base of operations lies within the valley’s dog leg. In the distance, beyond the hundreds of acres of alfalfa, you can see the snowcapped Mount Shasta. Fawaz owns 270 acres of Scott Valley land, leases an additional 1,000 to 1,200 acres, and does custom work on another 600 acres annually. He has about a dozen full time employees. Business expansion has taken place

quickly for Fawaz. “It was a pretty meager start,” he said. “In the beginning, I farmed with pretty much old junk machinery. Even so, my custom business grew, and in 2004, I leased a 500-acre ranch to make my own hay. Then, in 2005, I worked with a business in another valley to sell fertilizer and chemicals and begin doing some application,” he added. In 2006, Fawaz started doing more retail sales and service himself, soon reaching the point that he could furnish and apply any type of crop input a farmer might need. He also began selling seed and bale twine. At the same time, a growing custom hay business transitioned into more leasing and ownership of land. Owning and operating a commercial hay business doesn’t allow for much extra time during the growing season. Stack on top of that a crop input retail sales and

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service business and a custom haymaking enterprise, and you have the recipe for a busy man. Fawaz is all of that. Even so, this amiable yet outspoken farmer allocates time to his community and industry. Fawaz has and continues to serve on or lead a variety of county and state committees and organizations, including, but not limited to, the California Farm Bureau Federation, the California Alfalfa & Forage Association, Siskiyou County Office of Education School Board, Siskiyou Golden Fair Board, and the USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee.

Just ask Don’t count Fawaz among the bashful. As farm visits go, he’s every journalist’s dream. Ask him a question, and he’ll shoot from the hip, but you quickly get the impression that Fawaz is driven by a passion for the hay industry and its future. The first-generation hay farmer cites two primary factors that will shape the future and profitability of the Western hay industry. “I believe the foremost issue facing hay growers in this valley will be related to government intervention, especially as it pertains to water,” Fawaz opined. “We are in a valley that does not overdraft its wells to deplete groundwater, yet there is constant pressure from the environmental community to end groundwater pumping. There have been lawsuits filed and the environmental community has come out victorious.” “Second, is commodity price. We need a solid price to be able to hire good labor and maintain quality equipment. We have strong hay yields, so dependable and efficient equipment

is needed. However, with our shorter growing season, we only put a fraction of the hours on a piece of equipment here compared to the longer growing seasons South of us,” he added.

Alfalfa drives the bus Irrigated, green fields of alfalfa not only dominate the landscape in the Scott Valley, it’s that crop that also garners most of Fawaz’s attention on his own farm and that of his retail business’ customers. On his permanent crop base, 50 to 60 percent is comprised of alfalfa with the remainder being an alfalfa-orchardgrass mix or pure orchardgrass. The agricultural entrepreneur is not afraid to try new practices when it comes to growing the “Queen of Forages.” The typical approach to seeding alfalfa in northern California is to plant sometime during the first half of April. But that’s a labor crunch time for someone who also has a crop input service and application business. “I’ve been trying to play around with more late-August seedings,” Fawaz noted. “It fits our work schedule and labor situation better, especially where we have pivots.” Tempering, but not eliminating, his enthusiasm for late-summer seedings are meadow voles, which are a major alfalfa pest in the region. “Voles can get ahead of a fall seeding and wreak havoc,” Fawaz said. The rodent is also a problem on established stands. “We do a lot of things to keep voles under control. We’ve used rodenticide, but one of the keys is to reduce the amount of crop residue going into winter. Sometimes that means a late fall cutting and sometimes it means going out there with a flail chopper. I’ve even

tried unsuccessfully to get someone with sheep to bring them over and let them graze in the fall,” he added. Fawaz has also seeded alfalfa after a cereal grain forage harvest, usually in late June. “We’ve tried it a couple of times and had good success,” he said. “We can keep enough water applied through the pivot, and it hits the third

Brandon Fawaz has a passion for making hay and keeping the hay industry profitable.

or fourth trifoliate leaf stage pretty fast with the warmer summer temperatures. I just can’t see paying the rent on a field, harvesting a low-value crop like cereal grain hay in June, and then not getting anything off that field again until the following July.” Fawaz seeds fall dormancy 4 or 5 alfalfa varieties, using mostly conventional varieties but also some with the Roundup Ready trait. “We have one field that’s a fall dormancy 6, and I might experiment some more with the less dormant types,” he explained. “I have access to most brands of alfalfa. We try to always plant varieties that are in the top five or six of the variety trials, and that may not always be the same variety each year,” he added. continued on following page >>>

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Most of Fawaz’s 3-tie small square bales are marketed to the equine and export markets.

Seeding 16 to 18 pounds of seed per acre, Fawaz puts a lot of effort into preparing a good seedbed. “We seed alfalfa one of two ways,” said the veteran alfalfa grower. “We either plant with a Great Plains press wheel drill or we airflow the seed on and then double roll it. Both methods seem to work.” When alfalfa is airflow seeded, Fawaz uses a fertilizer spreader that has multiple boxes, which allows fertilizer to be applied at the same time as the seed, but with each loaded into a separate compartment on the spreader.

Food, water, and weeds Fawaz uses both wheel-line and pivot irrigations systems, putting anywhere from 5 to 14 inches of water on per cutting. He said he averages about 2 acre-feet of applied water for the season. All of his water is pumped from wells. As you might guess, a man who runs a crop input business is going to have plenty of opinions on fertilization strategies for alfalfa. Fawaz doesn’t disappoint. “I’m of the opinion that alfalfa will luxury consume potassium,” he noted. “It seems like no matter how much we put on before first cutting, we will see deficiency later.” Rather than putting all of his fertilizer on in one application, Fawaz now will spread it over several applications. The amount of fertilizer applied to alfalfa fields is driven by soil and tissue samples, but, on average, fields receive 150 to 360 units of potassium per acre. Fawaz also routinely applies phosphorus, sulfur, boron, and molybdenum. Soil pH ranges from 6.3 to 7.1, so little lime is needed. “We have every weed imaginable, and they can be a deal breaker in the Western equine and export hay markets” Fawaz said emphatically. “Weeds will fight weeds in every field, and if you do nothing, they will

shorten stand life. It’s not a question of will we spray, it becomes more a question of what we will spray. Baling 60 to 80 tons per hour, we have no tolerance for weeds,” he added. Winter and summer annual weeds are the biggest problem for Fawaz. An initial herbicide application is made in February to early March. For conventional varieties, metribuzin or Velpar tank mixed with Paraquat is common. For fields where summer annual weeds like pigweed or bristle grass threaten, Prowl H 2O is applied. If those weeds arise in June or July, an application of clethodim and/or Pursuit is used. Glyphosate is applied on Roundup Ready varieties.

Hit the 8-ton mark Though three-cut systems used to be the norm in the Scott Valley, wetter springs and drier falls have started to allow for four cuts per year. Fawaz runs two rotary swathers. “I feel like we can put up hay longer in the fall than we used to,” he said. “Also, we can cut and condition hay for baling a lot faster these days, making it easier to take advantage of harvest windows in the fall. “August 20 is the absolute latest I will cut third crop if I’m going to go for a fourth. I actually prefer a few days earlier than that. We usually take

our fourth crop from September 25 to October 5. After that, we don’t expect to have much if any regrowth,” he added. Hay is generally baled at 10 percent or less moisture using six Freeman 3-tie balers. He also has a Massey-Ferguson large square baler. An average alfalfa yield for Fawaz is 6.5 to 7 tons per acre. This year, Fawaz will have four fields that will break the 8 tons per acre mark, a new personal best. Unlike many regions, alfalfa winterkill isn’t a problem in the Scott Valley. “Though we have snow cover for short periods, we don’t like it because the meadow voles go crazy,” Fawaz said. “Generally, if snow lasts on a field for over 10 days, that’s a long time. We’ll get below zero temperatures, but that’s not a common occurrence.” As alfalfa starts to thin, Fawaz will sometimes interseed orchardgrass into the stand. This prolongs useful stand life and allows him to add an alfalfa-grass mix, or sometimes pure grass hay if he decides to spray-out the alfalfa, into his available inventory. When alfalfa stands do need to be terminated, cereal grain crops are often seeded to break the alfalfa rotation. Fawaz uses straight wheat or a mix of wheat, oats, and barley. The cereal grain hay is cut when it reaches the soft dough stage and is harvested the last half of June. It lays for six to eight days before being dry enough to bale. About 10 to 20 percent is small baled for the retail and horse market while the rest is big baled for beef and dairy cow markets.

Striving for improved quality This year, Fawaz made 80 percent of his alfalfa as small bales and 20 percent large squares. Some years, depending on the market, it may be closer to 50:50. “I’ve been trying to make more quality hay for the dairy and horse markets,” Fawaz said. “A small percent of the three-tie small bales goes to export

Alfalfa is irrigated immediately after cutting. In the foreground is one of Fawaz’s orchardgrass fields.

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and the rest sells into the equine and retail hay markets. The high-quality big bales are for the dairy market, while lower quality hay is directed to the beef cow market. I usually work through a broker, but I will occasionally sell direct to the end user,” he added. Fawaz doesn’t test his horse hay but does test his higher quality large bales that potentially could enter the dairy market. “If a customer wants a test, I would do that for them,” he said. In another attempt to improve forage quality, the California haymaker has experimented with making baleage. He rented a wrapper for 2019. “I think I should own a wrapper and only use it when I have to,” Fawaz related. “It also depends on the market. This year, I think we’re better overall in the horse market than the dairy market. “There are benefits to wrapping that go beyond the product. We found on the wheel lines that we could get the hay off quicker and start irrigating sooner after harvest. This boosted yields off of those fields.

strong markets, we have to be able to do business in the State of California, and that seems to get tougher every year.” So, what are the answers? “Fair trade is an obvious answer for starters,” Fawaz asserts. “Second, we need a state government that values our existence. Many times, it feels like California is turning its back on production agriculture and doing what it can to hinder us. I can’t honestly remember when the state did something to try and help us,” he added. Fawaz is not the type to give up the

good fight. He’s come too far from his humble beginnings with nothing but a leveraged old bale wagon. Through the years, both gold miners and loggers have come and gone from the Scott Valley. Fawaz wants to ensure that alfalfa growers don’t meet that same final fate. With his own hay farm, a retail crop input business, and a custom farming operation there is too much to lose. And oh, by the way, if you’re visiting the Scott Valley, Fawaz and his wife, Jaclyn, also own and manage the 10-unit Etna Motel where you can stay. •

This year, 80 percent of Fawaz’s alfalfa was made into 3-tie bales.

“One of the problems we have with baleage is getting people to understand what they are paying for with the wrapped hay after a moisture correction. It will probably feed better along with having other benefits in animal performance. Once they feed it, they’re sold. I once gave two bales to a guy and told him to let me know if he liked it. After that, he bought quite a bit of the product,” he mused.

Looking ahead Fawaz knows that the success of his business rests squarely on the shoulders of other industries, both here in the U.S. and across the ocean. “Hay growers on the West Coast need a profitable dairy industry and access to export markets,” Fawaz said. “While I concentrate more in the retail horse market, that market is only made strong — or weak — by the health of the dairy and export markets. But even with

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Enhancing feedout stability: What’s next?

crops that were stored for timeframes as short as 10 and 15 days (Figure 1). Moreover, during normal lengths of ensiling (two to six months), it was observed that silages treated with the L. hilgardii and L. buchneri combination were more stable than those treated only with L. buchneri.

by Renato Schmidt and Bob Charley

Hay advancements

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N A basic view, the ensiling process consists of the conversion of simple sugars to organic acids — specifically, lactic acid — under anaerobic conditions. However, the exposure of silage to air during feedout allows spoilage yeasts to become metabolically active, utilizing residual sugars and lactic acid to start the process of aerobic deterioration. In reality, the majority of the readily spoiled material consists of high-quality nutrients, so silage with a high degree of deterioration not only leaves less overall tonnage to be fed, but also the remaining feed has lower nutritive quality. Additionally, the spoiled feed contains detrimental microorganisms that may produce toxins. The term aerobic stability refers to the amount of time that a silage remains cool and stable after being exposed to air. When looking at options to enhance the aerobic stability of silages, a popular alternative is to use a microbial inoculant containing Lactobacillus buchneri, applied at a minimum of 400,000 colony forming-units (CFU) per gram of fresh forage. This lactic acid bacterium was revolutionary in the silage world when it was launched since it possesses a unique metabolic feature that was noticed when first isolated: the production of moderate

amounts of acetic acid during the anaerobic storage phase. Acetic acid is a potent antifungal compound that inhibits the development of spoilage yeasts, leading to improvements not only in silage but also total mixed ration (TMR) stability.

Two is better than one There is an extensive and growing body of peer-reviewed, independent research supporting the effects of L. buchneri in a wide range of forage crops highlighting the benefits observed during feedout. Although we have seen increased value and stability of silage treated with L. buchneri, there are some features that still could be improved; for instance, reducing the storage time needed to achieve the full benefits in aerobic stability. A minimum of 60 days is currently recommended. Recently, there has been a substantial amount of research conducted on the effects of a newly-isolated lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus hilgardii on forage preservation, particularly aerobic stability. In addition to comparing this novel strain to L. buchneri, researchers have found a remarkably positive synergistic effect when combining these two lactic acid bacteria, improving aerobic stability of silages made from different forage

Figure 1. The effect of different lactic acid bacteria on the aerobic stability of corn silage and high moisture corn (HMC)

Hours

Aerobic Stability 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

65b

65a

62b 56 42

a

a

22a RENATO SCHMIDT

HMC, 10 days

Corn silage, 15 days 

C = Control

83a

81a

Currently, L. buchneri has also been commercially approved in Canada to preserve high moisture hay when applied at 1.2 million colony forming units per gram (CFU/g); this is a threefold increase compared to the regular dose. Baling at higher moisture levels is a management decision due to unpredictable weather, but it also tends to reduce the extent of leaf losses, which leads to significant reductions in protein and mineral contents of hay. A future alternative that is being developed is based on the combination of a scientifically selected strain of homolactic bacterium with a complimentary enzyme formulation. In preliminary research trials, the inoculated hay was more stable (less molding and heating than negative control and other additives) than the negative control (not inoculated), and also improved neutral detergent fiber (NDF) digestibility and a faster rate of NDF digestion. Thus, this new hay microbial additive has considerable potential to preserve and even improve the nutritive value of forages by enhancing fiber digestion, especially when the weather conditions are not favorable to baling dry hay. As these new technologies continue to be researched and tested, remember that there are current products in the market that will continue to improve the overall quality of your feed, stabilize aerobic stability, and reduce spoilage. Also, using a research-proven microbial inoculant that meets your needs is important, but pay attention to all phases of ensiling! Harvest the forage crop at an adequate stage of maturity and moisture level, establish the desired length of cut and degree of kernel processing, pack it tight, and seal it fast with proper covering and weights. And always remember to work safely. •

C

LB

LB = Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788

LH

LB+LH

Schmidt (pictured) is a forage products specialist and Charley is a forage products manager for Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

LH = Lactobacillus hilgardii CNCM I- 4785 (Ferrero et al., 2018; Kung et al, 2018)

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We can justify the Comprima because of the value of the feed we’re getting out of it. I take the silage bales from this baler out to the cows, and they instantly know what that white marshmallow is. They run to it and just clean it up. We’ve baled in 40- to 50-degree weather, this baler will bale it, wrap it and dump it.

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Mike Rankin

The enemy of hay is moisture. When building hay storage, choose a location where water movement can be controlled. It’s ideal to locate a hay barn along an established drive or to have graveled access.

Plan ahead before siting a hay barn by Morgan Hayes

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HOOSING the correct location for a hay barn can be a challenge. You might choose different locations depending on where you bale hay, how the farm is laid out, and whether you plan to sell your hay or feed your own animals. Other considerations with a hay barn site can include accessibility, drainage, and vicinity to other hay barns or livestock. Also, how the barn is oriented will influence air movement through the barn, which can influence hay quality. Ultimately choosing the right location will impact how well the barn functions. Hay sale operations typically require a more centralized storage location for coordination of sales and loading for multiple customers. A centralized location allows one to better sort for forage quality and for customers to select the specific hay they wish to purchase. With larger cash hay operations, a centralized storage will typically reduce the amount of equipment needed like tractors, as one tractor can service multiple barns without hauling or driving

the tractors between locations. Also, one location makes it more cost effective to put in the infrastructure (utilities, drives, gates, and parking areas) for large vehicle access, and it is easier to direct customers to the location. One challenge with centralized storage is the risk of fire spreading throughout the entire hay supply. If the hay operation includes multiple barns, it might be good to have a source of water nearby like a pond or hydrant. In addition, including a 75-foot buffer between barns will reduce the likelihood of fire jumping from one to another.

Make it convenient When the goal of the hay operation is feeding animals, focus on getting hay as close to the winter-feeding area as possible. Typically, winter hay movement is more challenging than hay movement during the summer months, particularly if there are not good drives and access where hay is baled and stored. Inclement weather, like ice storms or extremely wet and muddy

conditions, can exacerbate challenges with hauling hay in the wintertime. The closer the hay barn is to the winter-feeding location, the better the chance that hay will be fed routinely. Moving all hay to winter-feeding areas typically provides better inventory control as well. If all the hay is accounted for near the feeding area, it is much easier to identify shortages and make adjustments earlier in the feeding season. Further, a farmer can control hay deterioration since the hay does not need to be left outside and can be more easily fed regularly in smaller quantities, which reduces waste.

MORGAN HAYES The author is an extension biosystems engineering assistant professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

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n

In the case of feeding livestock, the focus is still on one centralized storage facility, unless the farmer has multiple winter-feeding sites. In most cases, when a hay barn is chosen for storage, a centralized storage location is the preference. If you’re baling hay on several farms and there is significant distance between the operations, consider satellite storage sites as opposed to a centralized storage. This would be very similar to grain operations that choose to have storage on multiple farms to reduce transport time during harvest. One benefit of satellite sites is that it makes baling and hauling hay more efficient; however, the challenge is that the satellite sites may not be as secure, will be less likely to have utilities, will make coordinating hay sales more challenging, might not be in the correct location for winter feeding, and will require more infrastructure like driveways. Without utilities present, there will not be the option of installing lights in the barn or security lights outside. This means there is more risk for someone to steal hay or equipment. On the flip side, a benefit of multiple sites is that there is some risk aversion in the case of a fire. The proper location for a hay barn will depend on your operation and should match your objectives. Once the proper location has been selected for your operation, the next step is to decide what site makes the most sense for building the hay barn, how to build the infrastructure around the barn, and how to orient the barn for proper ventilation.

Keep water away Since the enemy of hay is moisture, one of the biggest priorities when building a hay barn is choosing a location where water movement can be controlled. Choosing a location in a swampy area or at the bottom of a large hill will require more costly drainage infrastructure and will still be at higher risk for flooding and hay loss on the bottom hay layers. Adding gutters or rocked ditches close to barn sidewalls should be included in planning costs. Allowing water to pool beside a barn can damage the structure as well as infiltrate into the barn and damage the hay. In addition to the outside drain-

Mike Rankin

Multiple sites

Ventilation is a problem in barns that are completely enclosed. In such cases, eave openings and a capped ridge vent are recommended.

age, build the barn floor at least 6 to 8 inches higher than ground level to further encourage drainage of any water that enters the barn. Accessibility is also a priority in the planning stages. If possible, it is ideal to locate hay barns along an established drive. This reduces infrastructure costs. If you are starting with no infrastructure, budget enough to develop gravel access for tractors and other equipment to enter the barn. These gravel areas should be a few feet wider than any doors or opening on the walls of the barn and 20 to 25 feet long. Access drives are critical because the goal is to reduce mud from entering the barn. Particularly for barns with gravel bases, mud can quickly reduce the drainage capacity of the flooring and reduce the stability of the floor as well. It would be ideal to also budget for driveways and parking or turning areas. Putting down filter fabric and gravel on drives not only improves access, but it also reduces mud tracking into barns on tires and gravel loss.

Consider air movement A barn needs proper ventilation to expel the moisture from hay respiration. Since hay barns are typically dependent on natural ventilation to get air exchange, proper orientation can be critical. Typically, a barn should be oriented so that the sidewall, or length

of the barn, is perpendicular to the predominant wind direction. For barns with enclosed sidewalls, like pole barns, eave openings and a capped ridge vent are critical design elements to allow for passive ventilation. Air enters through the eaves and exits through the ridge vent with excess moisture from the hay. Orienting the barn so the end wall doesn’t receive the majority of weather events can also protect hay bales closest to the end wall from wind-driven precipitation. If the barn is built as a shed style, face the open sidewall away from prevailing winds, but the side receiving the prevailing wind will still need eave openings to allow air to enter. Set up hoop barns similar to a pole barn; however, with open end walls these barns can be more forgiving to having the prevailing wind directed at the end wall. Ultimately, a hay barn’s location is very situation specific and needs to match a farm’s operational strategies and geography. Choosing either centralized or satellite storage is a good first step in planning for permanent hay storage. Once that has been determined, the next step is selecting a specific location based on topography and accessibility. Finally, orient the barn to improve ventilation. Following these barn siting guidelines will reduce future problems and result in a faster return on your hay barn investment. • November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 19

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Your Checkoff Dollars At Work

Poultry litter benefits alfalfa Hay & Forage Grower is featuring results of research projects funded through the Alfalfa Checkoff, officially named the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative, administered by National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA). The checkoff program facilitates farmer-funded research.

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ISSISSIPPI State’s Brett Rushing is one of several researchers working to show how Southeastern farmers can improve their forages’ quality by interseeding alfalfa into warm-season grasses. But he also feels the legume may be part of the solution to nutrient overloads caused by poultry litter spread on the same Mississippi fields year after year. Alfalfa requires nutrients like phosphorus and potassium, and poultry litter contains both, as well as nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and micronutrients. So, using Alfalfa Checkoff funding, Rushing recently evaluated how 1- and 2-ton per acre poultry litter applications — as well as synthetic fertilizers applied at nutrient concentrations similar to that of litter — impacted three alfalfa varieties. “The incentive of this project is that we have an abundance of chicken litter in this state that is high in phosphorus,” he said. “We thought, how can we alleviate phosphorus overload, produce a crop that will mine it out, and give us an alter-

ALFALFA POULTRY LITTER FIELD TRIAL taken November 10, 2017, at Newton.

native place to haul litter? Since alfalfa removes a good bit of phosphorus, we were thinking: ‘That is a forage crop that we might be able to produce in these areas.’” In addition, the quality of hay produced the past 20 to 30 years in Mississippi has declined, Rushing said. “We’re feeding dry cows with dietary restrictions that aren’t high, and that allows them to get away with lower quality feeds. Our efficiency in feeding is really low, so we begin to BRETT RUSHING supplement.” Mississippi State Based at the $39,000 Coastal Plains Branch Experiment Station at Newton, Rushing is targeting his research toward forage farmers who know how to manage fertility on their current crops. He and his Mississippi State colleagues Rocky Lemus, extension forage specialist, and Joshua Maples, extension

ALFALFA POULTRY LITTER FIELD TRIAL taken April 4, 2018, at Newton.

livestock economist, want to show that growing alfalfa will be cost effective despite the initial higher costs of seed. “If we can get hay farmers to produce a better-quality product, small cow-calf producers who are buying hay from them can reduce their supplementation needs,” Rushing surmised. “They wouldn’t have to buy a poorer quality feed plus a supplement.” In his research, conducted in 2017 and 2018, Rushing compared Bulldog 505, Bulldog 805, and AlfaGraze 600RR. They are all alfalfa varieties that can contend with the high-rainfall, high-humidity, and pest-pressure conditions for which the South is known. “Based on variety, we didn’t see much difference in yield or forage quality, which is good,” Rushing said. “Any of these varieties, based on producer needs, we can recommend.” “We also didn’t measure a whole lot of difference in fertilizer treatments, which, in a way, is good, too, because it then really just gets down to price. Most of the time, depending on nitrogen

COASTAL PLAIN FORAGE FIELD DAY hosted April 5, 2018.

Project objectives:

Project results

•D  etermine the impact of poultry litter fertilization on forage yield, plant persistence, forage quality, yield components, and the economics of growing alfalfa in Mississippi.

• T here was little difference among alfalfa varieties in yield or forage quality.

• Implement an extension and outreach program to educate beef cattle producers and small to medium-sized dairies about the use of alfalfa in their production systems.

•P  oultry litter proved to be an equally effective and costefficient fertilizer option when compared to applying commercial product.

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prices, chicken litter is going to be the cheapest in terms of the amount of all the nutrients combined in that litter versus buying that same amount as commercial fertilizer,” Rushing said. “This is simple, applied research,” he added. “We’re introducing new varieties; we’re adding a couple of different management schemes to help transition from our traditional dry grass hay production;

and we’re looking into baleage. Here at the station, we’ve got about 72 years of weather data. Based on that data, we’re actually getting an average 6 to 7 more inches of rain per year than we did 70 years ago. That increase in rainfall makes it more difficult for us to put up dry hay. By putting up baleage, it allows us to put up higher quality feed.” Rushing and colleagues will next

analyze soil samples taken during the project to quantify how much phosphorus alfalfa varieties can remove based on what was applied. “We’re also going to develop a complete economic analysis on all these treatments and variables and then present those results to farmers,” he said. “Even based on two years of data, that’s going to give them some good information.” •

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When plant tissue is stained, the strands of endophyte fungus become visible.

Endophytes provide benefits and challenges by Carolyn Young

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ALL fescue is widely adapted to the eastern United States and considered a valuable grass for livestock production. Fescue is also known for being a hardy and drought tolerant plant that can stabilize the land from erosion. But, as many producers know, fescue can have its dark side as most of the Kentucky 31 variety grown throughout the United States is infected with a toxic endophyte. This is a fungus growing inside the plant (endophyte). Some strains of the endophyte can cause toxicity to grazing livestock through the production of compounds called ergot alkaloids. Fescue toxicosis, caused by the animal ingesting ergot alkaloids, can result in production losses for a producer in the form of reduced average daily gains and lower conception rates. The grass is the most visible member of this symbiotic partnership, but I like to focus on the endophyte and know all about what it can do. However, I also have to think like an agriculturalist, an ecologist, and a plant breeder. Is the endophyte good for forage and livestock production? What are the benefits to having the endophyte in the plant? What endophyte do we want in a new cultivar?

Some positive attributes The endophyte found in tall fescue is a fungus called Epichloë coenophiala.

This fungus lives in the plant where it gets transmitted through the seed to the next generation. If a tall fescue seed or leaf sheath is stained, the fungus in the plant becomes visible when you look through the microscope (see photo). The endophyte provides natural insect protection and can enhance drought tolerance and nutrient acquisition, meaning endophyte-infected fescue can have greater persistence over an endophyte-free counterpart. The presence of the endophyte is one of the reasons why fescue has been so successfully distributed across the United States. When we sequenced the genome of E. coenophiala from the common tall fescue variety Kentucky 31, we saw the genes that encode the steps for ergot alkaloid production are grouped together in the genome. When the genes are present and active, the fungus produces ergot alkaloids, which can be readily detected where the fungus is found in the plant, such as in the seeds and leaf sheaths. Interestingly, not all E. coenophiala isolates are identical. While most produce ergot alkaloids, some can only produce very low levels of these compounds; whereas, others lack the essential genes required for ergot alkaloid production so they are unable to produce any of the compounds. This type of natural genetic variation in the endophyte has been utilized to develop

new endophyte-infected tall fescue cultivars that provide fescue with persistence without the toxicity. A number of newer cultivars using these different strains (sometimes referred to as novel endophytes) are available on the market in 2019: Jesup MaxQ, Jesup MaxQ II, Texoma MaxQ II, Lacefield MaxQ II, BarOptima PLUS E34, Estancia with ArkShield, Martin 2 Protek, and Tower Protek. Noble Research Institute developed and released Texoma MaxQ II.

Mitigate toxicosis Fescue toxicosis symptoms can be alleviated with various management practices. A better option is to take advantage of the new tall fescue cultivars that can completely alleviate the problem by eliminating any ingestion of the toxic ergot alkaloids. More information on how to replace a pasture can be found through the Alliance for Grassland Renewal (grasslandrenewal.org/), which holds workshops in March each year across major tall fescue growing states. Although pasture replacement comes at a cost, the availability of a nontoxic pasture is worth it for improving livestock health and productivity. A similar approach has been used successfully with perennial ryegrass to help eliminate ryegrass staggers in New Zealand and Australia. The ryegrass endophyte is a different species from the one found in tall fescue, but the approach is the same by fostering the development and use of novel, nontoxic endophyte-infected cultivars that have been adopted by producers. Fun fact: Although this article focuses on tall fescue endophytes, many other cool-season grasses are endophyte infected but harbor different Epichloë species, including many grasses native to the United States. • CAROLYN YOUNG The author is a mycology professor at the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Okla.

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supply of several species typically used for quick annual forage — specifically oats and forage peas. Weather challenges during harvest this year have also further impacted availability. Spring triticale supplies will also be reduced.

GOOD SEED OUTLOOK FOR NEW PLANTINGS by Dan Foor

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HIS year provided us one of the strangest planting seasons in recent memory. With a reported 19 million acres of prevent plant and an estimated 4 million acres of alfalfa damaged by winter weather with already low overall forage stocks, to say things were tough would be an understatement. Producers in the northern U.S. can have confidence that seed supplies are in a situation to provide flexible options to help restore forage acre productivity. Let’s take a closer look at the seed supply outlook for several important species and additional considerations for the upcoming planting season. Alfalfa In general, seed supplies for the “Queen of Forages” should be in good shape. While the industry saw a slight uptick in demand this last year, there remains solid availability of both conventional and traited varieties. Given the estimated acres affected last winter, demand is expected to be strong for spring plantings. One considerable watch-out is the recent early and extreme winter weather that occurred in seed production areas of the Northern Plains, the West, and Canada. A large number of seed production fields in these regions were late to harvest, and the cold and moisture could have an adverse effect on the 2019 seed harvest. Annual and perennial ryegrass Both annual and perennial forage ryegrasses will be available in good supplies. Producers are encouraged to check out the latest varietal devel-

opments from suppliers as the newer tetraploid options can have an immediate positive impact on tonnage and quality. Italian ryegrass will be tight going into spring, as last spring’s rush on emergency forage crops cleaned up a significant portion of available inventory. Intermediate ryegrasses have good availability. Fescues and festulolium Forage tall fescue supplies will be moderate in 2020, although a shorter crop of Kentucky 31 in the Midwest may strain availability. Meadow fescue is typically not a high-volume seed product and will have similar supplies as recent years. Producers can also opt for the newer festulolium options that are available, which combine the benefits of fescues and ryegrasses. Orchardgrass Orchardgrass supplies will be quite good this upcoming year. Solid seed yields in the main production areas of Oregon and Europe have helped get stocks back into shape after several short years. Later maturing varieties will continue to command a premium over earlier maturing options. Red and white clover Red clover seed production for the 2020 season would be characterized as adequate, with more limited availability of improved varieties over the common types. White clover will also be in decent supply, with the majority of white clover seed supply reliant on imports from overseas. Spring small grains and small grain/legume mixes Seed demand from the 2019 prevent-plant situation put a dent in the

Summer annuals Sorghum products are the perennial wild card. Given the limited production area for seed of forage sorghums, sorghum-sudangrass, and sudangrass products, supply and pricing can swing widely from one year to the next. The 2019 production outlook is fair, with recent weather at harvest causing some nervousness on the part of seed producers. 2019 was a tremendous year for sorghum products in the Upper Midwest, and it’s expected that demand will again be significant as more growers incorporate warm-season annuals into their rotation to help offset forage production challenges. Timothy After a record short supply situation in 2019, supplies of timothy will approach normal levels, provided the fall seed harvest is not adversely affected significantly by earlier than normal winter weather in northern Alberta where much of the timothy seed is produced. Planning considerations Over the last decade, the forage seed production industry has worked diligently to balance supply with projected demand, and consequently both supply and demand shocks (normally caused by weather) can have a more pronounced effect on seed supplies as well as prices. Since these demand and supply swings can affect smaller acre crops more seriously, it’s a good practice for producers to plan ahead with their seed suppliers to ensure availability for their needs. A common theme on the species reports above is the fact that improved varieties are typically the first to have supply challenges in high demand markets. With the continued pressure on maximizing farm productivity and return on investment, it’s important to consider securing supplies of the latest genetics early if that is part of the crop plan. • DAN FOOR The author is the chief executive officer of La Crosse Seed in La Crosse, Wis.

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PASTURE PONDERINGS

by Jesse Bussard

Managed grazing yields benefits on bison ranch

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ANAGEMENT-INTENSIVE grazing (MiG) has become a commonplace practice among many livestock producers. From operations with cows to small ruminants, this goal-driven approach to grassland management and utilization has helped many producers create healthier pastures and improve their operation’s carrying capacity. Despite its wide use, however, MiG’s benefits have yet to be well-proven with one ruminant — bison, a species now becoming popular with some North American ranchers. The Snowcrest Ranch, a Turner Enterprises-owned operation, located in Alder, Mont., is among a small handful of bison ranchers testing MiG’s use and benefits with cattle’s woolly cousins. Ranch manager Aaron Paulson believes, much like beef, bison’s niche market will also begin to see segmentation into other finishing styles in the years ahead. Grass finishing bison is one way for bison producers to set their products apart from others. “The majority of bison we are raising are for meat,” Paulson said. “That’s why we’ve started a side venture of raising some grass-finished animals.”

Two different years The ranch worked with grazing expert Jim Gerrish to develop their MiG experiment, which began during the summer of 2018 with a herd of 186 bulls. Now in its second year, they’ve bumped up herd numbers to 313 head. The 2019 herd is a mixed group of both yearling and 2-year-old bulls. (Note: unlike cattle, bison raised for meat are not castrated.) “We’ve got two age classes in there, and we’re keeping them on the best plane of nutrition we can on the ranch,” Paulson said. “They’re on tame (improved) forages that we can control and manage well.” During the 2019 grazing season, the experimental herd was grazed on a 151-acre, irrigated pasture, which was watered by both center pivot and flood irrigation. Species like alfalfa, clover,

orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, and timothy make up the forage mix. Paulson explained his herd manager, Keaton Mares, moved the herd every single day, sometimes twice a day, with animals grazing from 5 to 7 acres per day. As the summer wore on, grazing cells became larger to accommodate animal growth over time. Due to cooler temperatures experienced in the Intermountain West Region this past summer, forage growth was slower than usual. “Our goal last year was to not leave the pivot from May until October, and we did pretty well with that 186-head smaller group,” Mares said. “This year, we’ve had to incorporate other pastures to provide adequate regrowth because we need at least 40 days of recovery. Our goal is usually 30 days,” he added.

Match animals to forage In year one, Mares said they were still learning and experimenting with how large an area to give animals during a 24-hour period. They quickly realized, though, given too much acreage, bison would tend to selectively graze, leading to poor forage utilization. In year two, Mares has dialed things in. He took forage clippings and used a grazing stick to estimate forage production at the beginning of the grazing cycle. Mares estimates, for the 2019 season, their pastures were producing around 250 to 300 pounds of forage per inch. Using the average, he was able to more accurately determine carrying capacity and grazing cell size throughout the season. In addition, Mares began using OnX, a GPS-based hunting app, to map out acreage of grazing paddocks and determine where to put fencing to create alleyways. “Now on my second cycle through, I’m able to gauge the size of pasture I need visually,” said Mares. “I can just move over a fence post here or there and put it back up. I’m not retracing my fenceline,” he asserted. As of midsummer, Paulson and Mares

estimated they were running a stock density of around 42,000 pounds of bison per acre. “In the sense of what we’re doing — bison ranching — that’s high,” noted Paulson. “But, keep in mind, some folks are running upwards of 800,000 pounds per acre with beef cows.”

Great gains Overall, Paulson said MiG is paying off economically for them. He explained, “We are making more money on pounds of gain versus pounds of hay that we’d produce on the center pivot. So that’s a benefit.” To gauge their success, Paulson and Mares also kept track of average daily gains on animals. In 2018, animals gained on average 1.56 pounds per head per day with the upper-end top gainers between 1.8 and 2.1 pounds per head per day. Weights for 2019 showed average gains to be even higher than the previous year, checking in at 2 pounds per head per day. “Those are our best,” Paulson said. “I don’t think we achieved that number before when we weren’t grazing at this level of intensity. Those numbers are higher than what I thought we could ever do on bison.” Going forward, Paulson said if animals continue to yield like they want them to, they may expand their MiG grazing setup to an additional area on the ranch. “If we could have two really good locations set up for this, it would open up another 800 to 1,000 acres of ground that we could graze on,” Paulson said. “Potentially, at some point, we could possibly even expand herd numbers.” • JESSE BUSSARD The author is a freelance writer from Bozeman, Mont., and has her own communications business, Cowpunch Creative.

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Todd Garrett

Flack Farms purchased a used Steffen Bale Conversion System in 2014 to help them realize the premiums available in the small bale market.

HOOSIER HAY FROM THE LAND OF GRAIN by Mike Rankin

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T WAS still wet . . . really wet in northeast Indiana when the calendar turned to June. As the Google Maps lady directed me past grain bins and still unplanted fields of last year’s corn and soybeans, I began to question the possibility of actually being guided to a hay farm in this row crop epicenter. As it turned out, Ms. Google was on her game that day. Steve Flack competes to rent hundreds of acres of prime Indiana farmland per year, but he’s in the market to grow hay, not corn and soybeans. Flack, along with his wife, Lisa, and their son, Austin, operate Flack Farms Inc., near North Manchester. The family has been in the hay business for over 20 years. Both graduates of Purdue University, Steve and Lisa initially worked in the crop protection industry. These days, they ship out an average of

five semi-loads of hay per week. It all started innocently enough. “We had a small sheep flock and figured we could make our own hay and sell some on the side,” Flack explained. “Initially, we made small square bales, but then we moved to large squares to improve efficiency and meet the demands of a growing customer base.” Through the years, Flack Farms has progressively grown and diversified. But one change essentially reshaped the business. “In 2014, we saw that a used Steffen Bale Conversion System was being auctioned in South Dakota,” Flack said. “We decided that this would give us the opportunity to still make big bales but also be players and capitalize on the premiums offered in the small bale market. Luckily, we placed the last

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Austin, Steve, and Lisa Flack stand in front of a net-wrapped bundle of small square bales that are ready for shipment.

bid,” he added. The Steffen Bale Conversion System takes large square bales and cuts them down to smaller designated sizes and weights. Flacks now “make hay” yearround in a pole building that houses the machine. The bale processing system is the only one operating in Indiana. Flack said that they make either 12 by 16 by 24-inch bales weighing 42 to 45 pounds each, or the large square bales are cut down to 16 by 18 by 24-inch bales weighing 58 to 70 pounds, depending on the density. The small square bales come out of the processor, bound with plastic straps, and are mechanically pushed to a table where they can be picked up and stacked with a hay grapple. A bale squeeze is used to load the bales onto a wrapping machine where they are bound with plastic wrap and then placed on a pallet for shipping.

Full-service provider Flack Farms markets all cuttings, qualities, and sizes of hay bales. “Before we purchased the bale processor, our business was mostly with dairy farms purchasing large square bales,” Flack said. “Today, we market primarily to the equine and retail industries. We can mix and match different quality hays to the same retailer if that’s what they want. Most of the lower quality hay is sold as large square bales,” he added.

Lisa heads up the marketing and bookkeeping duties while Austin is involved in all aspects of the business. The farm ships hay to clients in over a dozen different states and owns four semi-tractors along with seven trailers of various types. Flack explained that a wrapped pallet of hay weighs about 1,800 pounds, and they are able to get 22 tons on a trailer load. But baled hay isn’t the only commodity that leaves the farm. “We operate a Haybuster tub grinder and ship out ground hay to mostly feedlots and heifer growers,” Flack said. “We also sell straw, either in large or small bales, and several types of wood shavings for bedding.”

“Because of the persistent rain through spring and early summer, we couldn’t even start first cutting until June 27,” Flack said in a recent conversation. “We didn’t wrap up first cutting until July 20.” The remainder of the summer was also a challenge for the haymakers, being characterized by dry conditions and slow plant regrowth during July and August, inaccurate weather forecasts, and a lot of heavy dew and high humidity days. “We’ll need to source more high-quality hay this year than usual,” the Hoosier hay farmer explained. “A lot of winterkill in the Midwest will make all types of hay in shorter supply.” In the future, Flacks plan to expand their hay base significantly to include timothy acres. They are also working to create more backhaul opportunities for their trucks. This includes bringing back fresh produce to the Midwest from the South.

Not just a processor Though the bale processor is the focal point of the operation, Flacks are also in the business of making hay on 500 to 700 acres of rented cropland that is within 20 miles of the home farm. Most of their fields are alfalfa or alfalfa-orchardgrass mixtures. Any additional needed hay is sourced from growers in the West and Midwest. Through the years, Flack has developed permanent relationships with his hay suppliers to ensure customer demands are met. The Flacks run two New Holland mower-conditioners and two New Holland large square balers. Swaths are manipulated with a Claas tedder and New Holland V-rakes. Haymaking was a massive struggle in 2019.

A wrapped pallet of small hay bales weighs approximately 1,800 pounds. Flack Farms also processes large square straw bales.

For some farmers, staying in step with the neighbors is a part of what motivates them to success. For others, like the Flacks, taking the road less traveled and being different than their row crop neighbors suits them just fine. They are among the Midwest minority who prefer bales to bushels. •

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FORAGE GEARHEAD

by Adam Verner

These days, machinery manufacturers are designing equipment that gets the job done faster and with less labor. Tillage equipment is no exception to that trend.

ground, and what you will find in running these machines is that most work better at a higher speed than lower ones. The tillage aggressiveness is amplified with the speed and throws the soil in both directions. Most of these units have a semi-ridged frame, thus filling in any holes or knocking down ridges left by other tillage tools.

Cover acres quickly

Fast-paced farming by Adam Verner

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HERE’S no doubt that we live in a fast-paced society. We must have everything right now and even more so have it delivered or picked up for us. It’s becoming this way in the equipment industry as well. Most operations now say that having their parts delivered or direct shipped is a better use of their time rather than making several trips into town to grab some parts. Today, dealers have more CSRs, or customer service representatives, to help get parts or equipment to a customer faster. I really don’t think that most farmers would pass up the opportunity to go in town and “chew the fat” at the parts counter but, quite frankly, most don’t have enough labor to afford that luxury during busy times in the field. Crop prices and labor seems to be at the top of everyone’s list of the most challenging things when it comes to farming today. Our qualified labor shortage is partially what is driving the latest big push and design changes of new equipment being offered in North America. High-speed tillage is not new to the world of agriculture, rather just new to the North American market. This type of tillage has been used as far back

as the 1980s in Europe but has really taken off in the 2000s. It’s becoming a vast market with nearly all equipment manufacturers having at least one model in the high-speed disk category. This market has mostly been dominated by the European tillage companies since they have the longest track record in the marketplace. So, how can a high-speed disk benefit your farm?

Smooth soil finish Let’s start out by saying what it isn’t — and that is vertical tillage. Yes, they do size crop residue, and you can choose to leave the stubble on top of the ground, but high-speed disks are going to move some dirt. Further, they are more adjustable than a conventional disk. There are two main reasons why farmers are switching to a high-speed disk — the speed and soil finish. These tillage tools leave the soil surface smooth and level. The blades hold a consistent angle due to their individual shanks; the aggressiveness in which they move soil drives the leveling. In some cases, a pass with the field cultivator can be eliminated. At suggested speeds of 7 to 13 miles per hour, you can really cover some

Compared with a same-sized conventional disk, you can cover twice the acreage in a day and possibly eliminate an extra pass. This can add up to significant savings, although they take more tractor horsepower per foot than traditional disks. You need about 12 to 15 horsepower per foot to pull the disks at the proper speed and depth. There are two ways you can look at using these disks: Cover more acres with a similar-sized unit as your current one or cover the same number of acres with a much smaller unit. We have farmers covering more acres in a day with a 20-foot high-speed disk compared to their traditional 32-foot tandem disk. Likewise, you can use a 30-foot high-speed disk and cover the acreage of two, 32-foot tandem disks in the same amount of time. That also means only one employee to do the same work as two. For some farmers, this benefit of fewer employees can be the most important factor. Be sure to do your research when it comes to selecting brands and sizes. There are extreme differences and requirements from your tractor. Some companies have gotten into the market fast and their disks will have less of an operating track record. • ADAM VERNER The author is a managing partner in Elite Ag LLC, Leesburg, Ga. He also is active in the family farm in Rutledge.

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by Rick Grant

H

OW forage particle size and NDF digestibility interact to affect dry matter intake (DMI) and milk yield is a hot topic among dairy nutritionists. Physically effective neutral detergent fiber (peNDF) describes the particle size of the forage and is usually measured on-farm using the 4-millimeter (mm) screen of the Penn State Particle Separator. Undigested NDF tells us quite a bit about the indigestible and potentially digestible NDF in a forage and is commonly measured as the undigested NDF following 240 hours of in vitro fermentation (uNDF240). These two fiber measures allow us to do a much better job of predicting the cow’s response to forage-NDF. At Miner Institute, our recent forage research has focused on several practical feeding questions relating to forage particle size and fiber indigestibility: 1. Can we adjust for a lack of peNDF by adding more uNDF240 to the diet? 2. If forage uNDF240 is high, can we compensate by chopping the forage finer? With the new approaches to measuring NDF digestibility (for example, uNDF240, fast-digesting NDF, and slow-digesting NDF), some nutritionists have even questioned whether particle size is actually that important to measure and monitor. Our work indicates that particle size, measured as peNDF, is important — but likely not for the reasons we have always focused on such

as rumination. Actually, forage particle size seems to influence eating time more than ruminating time in our common corn silage-based diets, which has important consequences for the cow’s time budget and feedbunk management.

Particle size matters To begin understanding how particle size and NDF indigestibility affect DMI and milk production, we conducted a study designed to evaluate a lower (8.9 percent of ration DM) and higher (11.5 percent of ration DM) dietary uNDF240 with either high or low peNDF. Table 1 provides the ingredient makeup of the diets we fed in the study. All four contained the same amount of corn silage and chopped wheat straw, and then particle size and uNDF240 content were adjusted using timothy hay at two chop lengths and some pelleted beet pulp to further reduce uNDF240. A Haybuster, with its hammer mill chopping action, created the two particle sizes of the forage. The low uNDF240 diets contained about 47 percent forage and the high uNDF240 diets contained about 60 percent forage on a dry basis. Table 2 shows the four diets and their uNDF240 and peNDF content. These range in fiber uNDF240, and peNDF of these four diets reflect the corn silage-based diets that we would often see in the Upper Midwest and northeastern U.S.

Mike Rankin

RETHINKING FORAGE PARTICLE SIZE

We also calculated a new fiber value — “physically effective uNDF240, peuNDF240,” which is obtained simply by multiplying the uNDF240 value of the diet by the physical effectiveness factor (pef). The pef is the fraction of a forage or feed that is retained on the 4-mm sieve and greater when using the Penn State Particle Separator on as-fed samples (or the 1.18-mm screen if dry sieving in a lab). Note that the low uNDF240, high peNDF diet and the high uNDF240, low peNDF diets, although differing in uNDF240 and peNDF, contain the same peuNDF240 value. Considering the effects of particle size and uNDF240 together (as with peuNDF240) provides us with one number that helps to explain cow productive responses as shown in Table 3. The diets that contained the extremes in either uNDF240 or peNDF (low uNDF240 and peNDF versus high uNDF240 and peNDF) consistently and predictably differed in DMI, energy-corrected milk, and chewing behavior. The two intermediate diets that contained either low uNDF240 and high peNDF or high uNDF240 and low peNDF yielded similar DMI and energy-corrected milk. Importantly, cows had similar energy-corrected milk production regardless of whether the diet was higher in uNDF240 but chopped more finely or lower in uNDF but with a coarser particle size. This is useful information to have in the field as we formulate diets with a range of forage quality. These results indicate that if forage NDF indigestibility gets a little too high, we can at least partially compensate by moving to a smaller theoretical length of cut (TLC) or chopping dry forages more finely.

Long will prolong Cows on the low uNDF240, low peNDF treatment spent about 45 minRICK GRANT The author is the president of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, N.Y.

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utes less each day at the bunk eating — while eating over 5 pounds per day more of the diet! The difference in eating time was explained by the time it takes the cow to chew and reduce the dietary particle size when she eats it. Cows fed these types of silagebased diets tend to chew the diet to a relatively uniform particle size before swallowing. So, rumination time will be essentially unaffected. This is a major point: Very long particles in the ration will just prolong eating time, without providing the cow any greater rumination stimulation. Excessive time spent at the bunk chewing feed in order to swallow it needs to be avoided because cows in freestall housing should not spend more than five hours per day eating in order to have natural feeding behavior. Based on this work and other published studies, we have developed guidelines for the Penn State Particle Separator that should result in total mixed ration (TMR) particle distributions that optimize time spent eating at the feedbunk and ruminating (Table 4). And, although still a work in progress, Table 5 suggests silage TLC and particle distributions for individual forages in order to achieve desirable TMR particle size distributions. These numbers come from our experience here at Miner Institute and feedback from field nutritionists across the U.S.

Final perspectives Physically effective uNDF240 (pef times uNDF240) seems to be a useful concept when formulating corn silageand haycrop silage-based diets. It combines a common measure of particle size (pef from the Penn State Particle Separator or dry sieving in the lab) with uNDF240. Cows responded the same whether the diet had lower uNDF240 chopped more coarsely or higher uNDF240 chopped more finely. We also need to remember that adequate peNDF is important for low uNDF240 diets. If future research confirms this response across a wider range of forage types, then when forage fiber digestibility is lower than desired, a finer forage chop length should enhance feed intake and energy-corrected production. •

Table 1. Ingredients used to adjust uNDF240 and peNDF in the study diets Ingredients, % of ration DM

Corn silage Chopped wheat straw Timothy hay — short

Low uNDF240

High uNDF240

Low peNDF

High peNDF

Low peNDF

High peNDF

34.7

34.7

34.7

34.7

1.6

1.6

1.6

1.6

10.5

24.2

Timothy hay — long

10.5

Beet pulp

12.9

24.2

12.9

0.4

0.4

Grain mix

40.3

40.3

39.2

39.2

Forage % in the diet

46.8

46.8

60.5

60.5

Table 2. Particle size and undigested fiber content of the study diets Fiber measures

Low uNDF240

NDF, % of DM

High uNDF240

Low peNDF

High peNDF

Low peNDF

High peNDF

33.1

33.3

35.7

36.1

uNDF240, % of DM

8.9

8.9

11.5

11.5

peNDF, % of DM

20.1

21.8

18.6

21.9

peuNDF240, % of DM

5.4

5.9

5.9

7.1

Table 3. Feed intake, milk yield, and chewing responses to dietary uNDF240 and peNDF Item

Low uNDF240

High uNDF240

Low peNDF

High peNDF

Low peNDF

High peNDF

DMI, pounds per day

60.6a

60.2a

60.4a

54.9b

ECM, pounds per day

103.6

100.8

102.3

98.3b

Eating time, minutes per day

255.4b

262.5b

279.1ab

300.3ab

Rumination time, minutes per day

523.2

526.5

531.8

544.5

ab

a

ab

ab

Means within a row with different superscripts differ (P < 0.05)

Table 4. Suggested particle size targets for total mixed rations using the Penn State Particle Separator Sieve (mm)

% retained

Top

19

<5

Sortable material, too long, increases time needed for eating; especially if greater than 10%.

Middle 1

8

> 50

Still long and functional as physically effective fiber. Maximize amount on this sieve.

Middle 2

4

10 to 20

Functions as pef screen, no recommendation for amount to retain here other than total on top 3 sieves are the pef.

25 to 30

40 to 50% grain diets result in at least 25 to 30% in pan typically.

Pan

Comments

Table 5. Suggested silage particle distributions to achieve desired TMR particle size Screen (mm)

TMR

Corn silage

Alfalfa silage

Grass silage

19-mm

<5

3 to 8

5 to 15

5 to 15

8-mm

> 50

50 to 65

50 to 75

50 to 75

4-mm

10 to 20

30 to 40

25 to 30

20 to 30

Pan

25 to 30

<5

<5

<5

5/8 to 7/8

1/2 to 3/4

1/4 to 3/8

TLC

November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 31

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A rancher near Siren, Wis., holds some large crabgrass. Notice “rooting” at the nodes of the sod-forming runners.

quick growth, and exceptional reseeding capacity. Forage crabgrass is a true tropical with no frost tolerance and has been cultivated extensively throughout warm, tropical, and subtropical regions because of high yields in predominantly light-textured soils. These traits, plus others like high palatability and digestibility, make it attractive as a potential grass for summer use either as an emergency forage or for double cropping. Its extensive root system also makes it a good candidate for use where soil erosion is a concern. Determination to tackle the summer decline led to cooperative efforts to check the feasibility of summer annuals like forage crabgrass production in northern Wisconsin. The questions were: Could the grass be grown in northern latitudes given the cool summers and requirement for warm soils? Would there be enough of a growing window for adequate production? These concerns materialized into evaluation plantings during the last few years, which have rendered positive results.

All photos by Y. Newman.

Don’t seed too deep

Forage crabgrass finds the road north by Yoana Newman

S

UMMER is a period in the Upper Midwest that is critical for operations that rely on common temperate grasses like orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, or smooth bromegrass. These temperate grasses require cool temperatures and their peak production is in spring and early fall. In the summer, they undergo a significant “summer slump” — some more than others.

This summer drop in grass growth can be mitigated with the use of annual warm-season species that have their highest production in July and August. When this strategy is successful, warm-season annuals can reduce or eliminate the need to feed supplemental hay when cool-season grasses are unproductive. Forage crabgrass is one such warm-season grass. Originally from tropical Africa, it belongs to the Digitaria grass genus and has long been recognized as an important forage with high quality,

Although there are several commercial varieties available, the one recommended for northern latitudes is the 2006-released Quick-N-Big. This variety met the needed requirements of quick germination, vigorous seedling growth to first grazing or haying, and rapid regrowth. Given the low tolerance to cold temperatures, preliminary evaluations in northwest Wisconsin focused on determining if there was a window of production. In other words, if the grass needed very high soil temperatures, would there be enough days for growth before first frost. We found it best to plant crabgrass into a clean seedbed. Forage crabgrass seed is small, and seeding should be no deeper than 1/4-inch deep. To achieve this shallow planting, most situations require the use of a roller pass before and after seeding. YOANA NEWMAN The author is an associate professor and extension forage specialist based at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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Like many forage crabgrass varieties, Quick-N-Big is semi-decumbent, initially growing as a bunch with tillers that curve upward with rooting capacity at the nodes. This grass is ideally suited for sandy soils with a soil pH ranging from 5.5 to 7. It does not generally grow as well in wetlands or tight, clay soils.

Highly palatable In the North, plant crabgrass in summer at a rate of 6 pounds per acre once the soil warms to 65°F (usually June 1 to June 15). It germinates and grows vigorously and can be harvested one to two times or grazed several times through September. Crabgrass can also be stockpiled for fall grazing. Total yield ranges from 1,000 to 3,500 pounds per acre, although it can reach 6,000 pounds per acre with ideal growing conditions. Forage crabgrass is highly palatable, and given the opportunity, this is the first grass that livestock graze in a pasture. If forage crabgrass is grown for hay, its relatively fine stems make it ideal for horses. Forage crabgrass has high nutritive value with high digestibility and adequate crude protein (CP). Grass sam-

Ten-day warm-season crabgrass seedlings planted on June 11, 2015, near Spooner, Wis. Notice the large, wide leaves.

ples taken in mid-July, four weeks after planting, had an average of 15 percent CP, compared to 12 percent for a bluestem check. Dry matter digestibility (at 30 hours) averaged 58 percent, similar to a comparative orchardgrass stand, and it was higher than a bluestem check, which averaged 47 percent. As with other grasses, forage quality of crabgrass declines rapidly as plants reach maturity. In addition to exceptional feeding value, forage crabgrass has proven to

be an excellent ground cover. It will help to build soil organic matter and improve water-holding capacity. This speaks to its great potential as a soil conservation grass. Although crabgrass is considered tropical, we have had great early success in establishing and utilizing the species in northern Wisconsin where the growing seasons are relatively short. Our plans are to continue to refine production methods and make better use of this valuable grazing and hay grass. •

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November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 33

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RESEARCH ROUND-UP

Small bales bring higher prices Many factors can have an influence on the price of hay. Some of these factors are related to the characteristics of the hay itself while others may be more external in nature (for example, lot size, storage options, and available handling equipment). Researchers at the University of Kentucky recently reported the results of a study that evaluated the relative importance of various hay characteristics to its selling price at auction. The results were published in the Agronomy Journal. The researchers obtained data from an annual January hay auction held in Richmond, Ky., from 2012 to 2013 and 2015 to 2017. The hay was tested prior to selling, so buyers knew the forage quality of the hay they were purchasing. The data set included 215 observations with 59 percent of the lots being round bales and 41 percent being small square bales. Bale form had a significant impact on hay price. Small square bales sold, on average, for $105 per ton more than large round bales. Further, the lighter the small square bale, the higher its selling price.

Not surprisingly, forage quality also had a significant impact on the auction hay price. Total digestible nutrients (TDN) was highly significant in explaining the price of small square bales but not round bales, though in the latter case it was still positively correlated. Relative feed value (RFV) as it relates to sale price was significant in all baletype comparisons. The size of the hay lot (number of bales in a single lot) did not have a major impact on the final sale price. This variable was completely insignificant for round bales. The researchers explained that having larger lots of hay may have negatively impacted prices to a small degree, but the factor was not nearly as important as bale type, forage quality, or even the weight of individual bales. Buyers at the tested auction were primarily beef producers and equine owners. As such, the researchers noted that this impacts the study results. For example, these results might be different where the buyers are predominantly dairy producers or if the sale was held in a different month than January.

Limestone application has small impact on ergovaline levels Ergovaline concentrations in Kentucky 31 tall fescue have been proven to rise with applications of nitrogen and/or phosphorus fertilizers. This is one reason why heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer are not recommended for toxic tall fescue. One mitigation approach to diluting ergovaline intake by cattle grazing toxic tall fescue is to incorporate legumes into the pasture. To do this, soil pH needs to be adequate for clover or alfalfa survival and often requires the application of limestone. Researchers at the University of Missouri investigated the impact of dolomitic limestone applications on the ergovaline concentration of an existing Kentucky 31 tall fescue pasture (95 percent endophyte infected) and published the results in Crop,

Forage & Turfgrass Management. The experimental design consisted of 11 replications of either treated or nontreated plots. Each plot was soil tested and lime was applied to meet the target soil pH. Surface-applied limestone applications made during December ranged from 1.5 to 2.7 tons per acre. The plots were tested and maintained for three years. Each fall, soil samples were taken and analyzed. As expected, limestone raised the soil pH, especially at the soil surface. The average ending soil pH was 5.6 for the limestone-treated plots and 5 for the nontreated control plots. The tall fescue was harvested during the spring (April) and fall (October) over the three-year period. At harvest, plant tillers were collected for ergovaline concentration analysis

using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The concentration of ergovaline in the limestone-treated plots was 20 parts per billion (ppb) lower than in the nontreated plots; though small, it was statistically significant (P<0.10). The researchers noted that the slight drop in ergovaline levels was not enough to affect the impact of fescue toxicosis on cattle directly; however, it can have an â&#x20AC;&#x153;indirect and positive effect by providing growing conditions favorable for legumes that are interseeded to dilute the toxic diet while not increasing the toxicity of the grass.â&#x20AC;? The researchers also noted that more studies are needed to see how even larger increases in soil pH might impact ergovaline concentrations in tall fescue.

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MACHINE SHED

Claas rolls out new Jaguar 900 Series with Terra Trac option

Claas recently introduced their all-new Jaguar 900 Series, 800 Series, and Terra Trac forage harvesters, featuring high throughput, chop quality, fuel efficiency, and time-saving features. The new Jaguar 990 and 960 are available with Terra Trac drive systems. To complement the new Jaguar forage harvesters, Claas of America is also introducing the Orbis row-independent header. The Jaguar 990 is equipped with up to 925 horsepower and the new Jaguar 970 features an Inline-6 engine with 790 horsepower. These machines were designed to offer exceptional throughput, which means more tons per hour. The forage harvesters automatically adjust the horsepower and speed for optimum engine efficiency and maximum harvesting capacity. Improvements to engine design and power transfer result in a 10 percent fuel savings compared to competitive models. The new Jaguar models feature a 30 percent stronger feedroll cabinet, which allows for smoother crop flow, more consistent chop quality, and superior reliability. Premium Line wear plates, knives, and a hard metal shearbar offer a long service life. All Jaguar forage harvesters feature updated convenience features such as the new large Cebis color monitor with touchscreen, a new armrest with integrated Bluetooth controls, and the new Cmotion handle. The touchscreen monitor integrates multiple monitors into the single screen. First track system The Jaguar 990 and 960 models are available with Terra Trac drive systems that provide up to 25 miles per

hour road speeds, a much smoother ride, reduced soil compaction, and added stability and traction on slopes. A headland protection function helps protect the ground from shearing while turning. The new Orbis 750 and 600 headers feature a frame stamped from a flat piece of metal, with no welded joints. The knives, crop flow guides, and the Christmas trees on the new headers are all Premium Line, making the header more durable and providing more consistent cutting and feeding. The new knives and shorter, stronger points on the header prevent double cuts in the field.

The new Auto Contour system allows for even closer cutting to the ground for those who want very short stubble. The header suspension ensures that the Orbis maintains an ideal lateral balance and adjusts itself to the field contours. The Orbis header also features a new folding design that allows the operator to fold and unfold it in 15 seconds.

Kubota unveils the M8 Series tractor The new M8 Series marks the largest tractor ever built by Kubota, boasting over 200 horsepower. It is purpose-built for comfort, power, and simplicity. The M8 Series is paired with the Cummins B6.7 Performance Series engine. Available in 190 horsepower and 210 horsepower models, the B6.7 provides power, fuel efficiency, and meets EPA Tier 4 Final compliant emissions standards. The M8 Series is compatible with all leading industry precision farming solutions. Whether engaging auto steering or utilizing prescription mapping, the tractors are engineered for a complete precision farming experience. A variety of applications are available with easy to use and conveniently located controls. The cab boasts an impressive 148 cubic feet of space. Ample sound insulation and premium seating provide a comfortable environment and are designed to mitigate operator fatigue. The tractorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cab was designed around the concept of â&#x20AC;&#x153;an office with a viewâ&#x20AC;? and includes various seat and operator comfort options, allweather climate control, an ergonomically designed multi-function command center, and excellent visibility. With its eye specifically on the large utility and material handling tractor market, the commercial hay and forage market, as well as the mid-sized row crop market, Kubota expects to create synergies for the M8 Series and complementary implements with other areas of its businesses and affiliate supply chains. For more information, visit KubotaUSA.com.

New Jaguar 800 Series The updated Jaguar 800 Series forage harvesters include several upgrades to improve convenience, crop flow, and efficiency. The ground drive torque was increased by 11 percent for better power and control in hilly and muddy conditions. A new length of cut gearbox helps optimize chop length settings, the Actisiler 37 provides better insulation for inoculant application, and the Cebis color monitor with touchscreen control gives the operator more convenience when adjusting forage harvester settings. For more information, visit www.Claas.com.

The Machine Shed column will provide an opportunity to share information with readers on new equipment to enhance hay and forage production. Contact Managing Editor Mike Rankin at mrankin@hayandforage.com.

November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 35

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MACHINE SHED

New pull-type mower from Hesston by Massey Ferguson

Kuhn introduces hay merger With 30-feet of pickup in a single pass, the Kuhn MM 890 Merge Maxx hay merger is the newest addition to their growing hay merger lineup. Designed for commercial operations, the MM 890 has the ability to merge to the left, right, or with a 50-50 split, creating uniform windrows. The electronics on the MM 890 help operators maximize their time in the field. The Kuhn IntelliMerge ISOBUS control system helps to improve operator ergonomics and operational efficiency. The Kuhn OptiSense belt stall indicator alerts the operator when the belts on the merger start to slow down. This gives the operator a chance to react before the machine plugs. The floating wind guard ensures smooth and even windrows to make the forage harvester more efficient and the crop netting improves leaf retention. Simple and durable mechanical flotation on each head eliminates the need to engage the float on the tractorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hydraulics. For more information, visit kuhnnorthamerica.com.

The Hesston by Massey Ferguson Model MF1316S RazorEdge pull-type disc mower-conditioner is built to optimize crop throughput and quality. New, easy-to-service belt-drive augers at the ends of this 16-foot, center-pivot mower-conditioner moves the crop quickly to the conditioners, minimizing double cuts, crop wrapping, and buildup. The result is uniform windrows that dry faster and more evenly, enhancing the operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ability to form a heavy, dense, evenly shaped bale that preserves the quality of hay and forage. The MF1316S replaces the MF1395 as the largest of the heavy-duty, fully welded-frame 1300 Series of RazorEdge pull-type disc mower-conditioners. The machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique RazorEdge cutterbar ensures a smooth, clean cut; the hydraulically tensioned conditioner system reduces drying time to optimize crop quality; and the optional quick-change knife system enhances operator convenience and safety. New belt-drive stub augers at the ends of the header improve crop feeding into the conditioner rolls. Fully enclosed crop conveyers (cages) outside the augers prevent crop wrapping and buildup. Operators can get to the drive belts for the new auger headers through a new side panel for quick and easy servicing. An innovative new drive-belt system uses a self-adjusting spring tensioner, so operators can more easily set and maintain optimum belt tension. For more information, visit masseyferguson.us.

Pottinger rear-mount mowers updated Pottinger has redesigned its rearmounted mowers with side pivot mounting. These mowers have a high cost effectiveness and a low power requirement due to their lightweight construction. These advantages really come into play on steep inclines, on rough ground, and when mowing embankments. Thanks to their low power requirement, Novadisc models 222, 262, 302, and 352 with working widths between 7.2 and 11.3 feet can be operated by small tractors from 40 horsepower upwards. So, these lightweights are particularly suited to smaller farms in hilly terrain. The Novadisc rear mowers feature a new optimized center

of gravity, ensuring safe and compact road transport. During transport, the mower is folded through 102 degrees. This provides a clear view to the rear in both rear-view mirrors. A low transport height is achieved by the hydraulic folding side guard (optional). In addition, the mower can be stowed vertically using the new parking stand (optional) to save space. The compact driveline and the drive belt tension regulated by a back-tension idler ensure reliable power transmission. The Novadisc rear mowers with side pivot mounting are highly adaptable. Their wide degree arc of movement enables easy mowing on rough ground and embankments. Mowing up to 45 degrees by lifting the interlock latch is also possible for short periods. With the adjustable mounting pins, the mowers can be hitched up to the tractor quickly and easily. The proven lifting system lowers the mower so that the outer end of the cutter bar contacts the ground first. At the headland, the inside end is lifted first. The mechanical collision safety device, which enables a swing-out angle of about 12 degrees, protects the machine. The swing-out function prevents damage to the mower in the event of collision with an obstacle. For more information, visit poettinger.at/en_us/.

36 | Hay & Forage Grower | November 2019

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Vermeer debuts 604 R-Series balers The new Vermeer 604 R-Series balers feature a range of components, features, and options. Three, 6-foot by 4-foot models — Classic, Signature, and Premium — offer unique combinations that provide the right levels of sophistication, performance, speed, and versatility to meet the needs of just about every hay producer. The 604 R-Series baler lineup features a camless pickup and rotor design, a hydraulic density system, and a new net wrap system. The 604R Classic baler was designed for the forage producer who wants minimal setup and horsepower requirements. The Classic has user-friendly controls and offers both net wrap or twine options. It’s suited for the small- to mid-sized producer who does not require all the latest technology in the field. The 604R Signature baler is built for a wide range of hay and forage operations. In addition to moisture sensors and the

ability to monitor bale shape, density, and net tension, an Atlas Pro control system with a 7-inch in-cab monitor provides the 604R Signature operator real-time production information, field statistics, and diagnostic data in the field. It’s a great fit for full-time hay producers and is well-suited for both dry and wet hay, being available with an optional silage kit. The 604R Premium baler makes hay 19 percent faster and produces bales that are 30 percent denser compared to the 604R Signature. A net lift system allows operators to carry the roll from either the truck or ground up into the net wrap system by using an electric thumb control. The new auto-eject helps by eliminating two steps in the baling process, while heavy-duty components and steel doors provide toughness. For more information on the 604-R Series of balers, visit Vermeer.com.

Krone launches VariPack round baler Krone has developed its first round baler with belts engineered for North American fields. This new VariPack round baler is designed for hay growers looking for a high-quality round baler that can bale faster while building dense, uniform bales. The new VariPack round baler boasts a variety of exclusive and performance-enhancing features. Krone’s exclusive EasyFlow camless pickup delivers maximum crop to the bale chamber and reliable bale starts. It has minimal moving parts. A pivoting, spring-loaded design follows any terrain, eliminating crop loss. A 7-foot pickup width handles wide windrows, and the exclusive large auger creates more consistent crop flow from pickup to feed roller. The VariPack round baler features a wide feed rotor and drop floor. These help to make quick work of the occasional plug. The new round baler features four endless belts with a smooth surface, delivering uniform, high-density bales. Rollers are spaced close together for dependable power transfer to the belts, making for reliable bale starts and consistency as the chamber fills. The new baler features a quick-close rear door that opens and closes in less than five seconds, reducing time spent waiting for the bale to eject. This contributes to faster unloading and baling. From the cab, the operator can select variable (threestage) densities for the inner, middle, and outer sections of each bale. This allows for selection of a softer core that can breathe, while maintaining denser middle and outer sections. Options include pressure ranges from 0 to 100 percent. The VariPack net wrapping system easily and consistently threads the net through the rigid net feeder and starts auto-

matically when the chamber is filled. The operator can watch and monitor the process from the cab while on the move. There’s plenty of space for spare net rolls, and net wrap is available from 48 to 51 inches. High-flotation tires help to ensure smooth, high-performance baling on any terrain. The baler’s electronic system is compatible with the ISOBUS tractor terminal and offers clear, user-friendly interfaces with two different touchscreen options. The Model 165 VariPack round baler offers a bale diameter from 3 to 5 feet. The larger Model 190 offers a bale diameter from 3 to 6 feet. Both models let you change bale diameter on the go. The new Krone VariPack round baler will be available in limited quantities for the 2020 haying season and primarily in the Southeast region of the United States. For more information, visit www.krone-na.com.

November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 37

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Call 306-745-2412 for pricing & delivery or E-Mail:gophergeneral@gmail.com November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 39


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40 | Hay & Forage Grower | November 2019


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PERSISTORCHARDGRASS.COM | 888-550-2930 November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 41


BUYERS MART

Consider a custom harvester Controlling input costs in farming operations is one way to manage risk caused by commodity price variances. A successful farmer constantly looks for options that reduce production costs and increase margins. A common ailment among farmers is hardware disease. All farmers work daily for the reward in the harvest, but does it make economic sense to own large harvest equipment? In some surveys, as many as 70 percent of farmers who responded could improve profits by hiring custom harvesters instead of doing the work themselves. Custom rates are often lower

than actual farm machinery costs because custom harvesters use equipment over more acres per year than most farmers. Absence of debt on harvest equipment can have a profoundly positive effect on the balance sheet. The right decision depends on the nature of the individual farm, but hiring a custom harvester is worth considering. With the decision to hire in place, obtain recommendations from other producers who use custom harvesters. Then, contract with custom harvesters who have good reputations for meeting time commitments and harvest efficiency.

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Net Wrap saves money by repelling moisture to maintain hay quality throughout the feeding season. SYNTHETIC RESOURCES, INC. • info@syntheticresources.com 42 | Hay & Forage Grower | November 2019

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November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 43


BUYERS MART

Hay Biz • Every day, all day, find out what’s going on in the hay and forage industry • Participate in shared news and information • News about products, people, places, and events View at:

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BUYERS MART U.S. Postal Service STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10.

11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

15.

16.

16.

17. 18.

Publication Title: Hay & Forage Grower Publication No.: 021-713 Filing Date: September 10, 2019 Issue Frequency: January, February, March, April/May, August/September and November No. of Issues Published Annually: 6 Annual Subscription Price: $0 Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 28 Milwaukee Avenue West, PO Box 801, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County, WI 53538-0801. Contact Person: Brian V. Knox, Telephone: 920-563-5551. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 28 Milwaukee Avenue West, PO Box 801, Fort Atkinson, Jefferson County, WI 53538-0801. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Brian V. Knox, 28 Milwaukee Avenue West, PO Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0801. Editor: Managing Editor: Michael C. Rankin, 28 Milwaukee Avenue West, P.O. Box 801, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0801 Owner: Hay & Forage LLC, 28 Milwaukee Ave. W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Paris M Knox 1990 Educational Trust, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Gillian V. Knox 1990 Educational Trust, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Brian V. Knox II 1992 Educational Trust, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Gregory J. Mode, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; Gina L. Mode, 28 Milwaukee Ave., W, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or Other Securities: None Tax Status (for completion by non-profit organizations authorized to mail at non-profit rates: N/A Publication Title: Hay & Forage Grower Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: August/September 2019 Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: a. Total Number of Copies (Net Press Run): 63,840 b. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By mail and outside the mail): 1. Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions stated on PS Form 3541. (Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies.): 39,226 2. In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions stated on PS From 3541.(Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies.): 0 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS®: 0 4. Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®): 0 c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3) and (4)): 39,226 d. Non-requested Distribution (By mail and outside the mail) 1. Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include sample copies, requests over 3 years old, requests induced by a premium, builk sales and requests including association requests, names obtained from business directories, lists, and other sources): 23,072 2. In-County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include sample copies, requests over 3 years old, requests induced by a premium, bulk sales and requests including association requests, names obtained from business directories, lists, and other sources): 0 3. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail (e.g. First-Class Mail, nonrequestor copies mailed in excess of 10% limit mailed at Standard Mail® or Package Services rates): 0 4. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail (Include pickup stands, trade shows, showrooms, and other sources): 845 e. Total Nonrequested Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4)): 23,917 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and e): 63,143 g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3): 697 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): 63,840 i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by 15f times 100): 62.12% Extent and Nature of Circulation: No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: a. Total Number of Copies (Net Press Run): 63,578 b. Legitimate Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By mail and outside the mail): 1. Outside County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions stated on PS Form 3541. (Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies.): 41,646 2. In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions stated on PS From 3541.(Include direct written request from recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies.): 0 3. Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS®: 0 4. Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®): 0 c.Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3) and (4)): 41,646 d. Non-requested Distribution (By mail and outside the mail) 1. Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include sample copies, requests over 3 years old, requests induced by a premium, builk sales and requests including association requests, names obtained from business directories, lists, and other sources): 19,809 2. In-County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include sample copies, requests over 3 years old, requests induced by a premium, bulk sales and requests including association requests, names obtained from business directories, lists, and other sources): 0 3. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail (e.g. First-Class Mail, nonrequestor copies mailed in excess of 10% limit mailed at Standard Mail® or Package Services rates): 0 4. Nonrequested Copies Distributed Outside the Mail (Include pickup stands, trade shows, showrooms, and other sources): 1,065 e. Total Nonrequested Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4)): 20,874 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and e): 62,520 g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3): 1,058 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g): 63,578 i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by 15f times 100): 66.61% Electronic Copy Circulation: Hay & Forage Grower. Average No. Copies Each Issue During Previous 12 Months: a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies: 0 b. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies (Line 15C) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): 0 c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): 0 d. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c X 100): 0%. Electronic Copy Circulation Hay & Forage Grower. No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies: 0 b. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies (Line 15C) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): 0 c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a): 0 d. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c X 100): 0%. I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic & print) are legitimate requests or paid copies. Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the November 2019 issue of this publication. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). Brian V. Knox, Publisher September 10, 2019

Faster! Tougher! Easier! CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $2.50 per word per issue.10 word minimum.

920-563-5551 ext. 125

HAY-BEDDING-FEED TRITICALE SEED, locally adapted varieties bred specifically for forage-including awnless varieties. Visit tricalforage.com for a list of local seed houses in your area or call 406.952.1000. /27 TRSUFO

FARM EQUIPMENT BEST PIVOT TRACK CLOSER FOR ALFALFA! Right amount of soil moved and packed with weight of your tractor. Tracks stay shallow. 402-750-2199. www.tracpacker.com /23

BALE CHASER 14 Bale Model

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BALEWAGONS: New Holland self-propelled & pull-type models/parts/tires/manuals. Can finance/deliver. 208-880-2889, /15 www.balewagon.com JAWIBA

November 2019 | hayandforage.com | 45


FORAGE IQ Western Alfalfa & Forage Symposium November 19 to 21, Reno, Nev. Details: calhay.org/symposium

Alabama Forage Conference December 3 and 4, Rogersville, Ala. Details: alabamaforages.com

Kansas Forage and Grassland Conference December 10, Wichita, Kan. Details: ksfgc.org

American Forage & Grassland Conference January 5 to 8, Greenville, S.C. Details: afgc.org

Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference January 8, Hastings, Neb. Details: alfalfaexpo.com

Northwest Hay Expo

January 15 to 16, Kennewick, Wash. Details: wa-hay.org

Virginia Winter Forage Conferences

January 21 to 24 (four locations) Details: vaforages.org/events

GrassWorks Grazing Conference January 23 to 25, Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Details: grassworks.org

Southwest Hay & Forage Conference

January 29 to 31, Ruidoso, N.M. Details: nmhay.com

Western Alfalfa Seed Growers Assn. Winter Seed Conference January 26 to 28, Las Vegas, Nev. Details: wasga.org

U.S. Custom Harvesters Convention January 30 to February 1, Hot Springs, Ark. Details: uschi.com

Cattle Industry Convention NCBA Trade Show

February 5 to 7, San Antonio, Texas Details: beefusa.org

World Ag Expo

February 11 to 13, Tulare, Calif. Details: worldagexpo.com

HAY MARKET UPDATE

Another season in the books With most hay machinery now parked, demand will be the primary driver for hay prices as we move forward through the winter. Hay exports, somehow, are holding steady. The dairy outlook is better than a year ago, but there are still deep wounds to heal. Alfalfa prices remain steady and will

likely rise over the next few months. Grass prices have weakened a bit from a year ago. USDA’s initial estimate is for higher hay production in 2019. The prices below are primarily from USDA hay market reports as of the beginning of November. Prices are FOB barn/stack unless otherwise noted. •

For weekly updated hay prices, go to “USDA Hay Prices” at hayandforage.com Supreme-quality hay California (intermountain) California (northern SJV) Colorado (northeast) Colorado (northeast)-ssb Idaho Iowa-ssb Kansas (all regions) Missouri Minnesota (Sauk Centre) Montana Nebraska (western) New Mexico (southeast) Oregon (Lake County) South Dakota Texas (north, central, east) Washington (Columbia Basin) Wyoming (eastern) Premium-quality hay California (intermountain) California (Sacramento Valley) California (southern) California (southeast) Colorado (southeast) Colorado (San Luis Valley) Idaho Iowa (Rock Valley) Kansas (all regions) Missouri Montana-ssb Nebraska (western) New Mexico (southwest) Oklahoma (central) Oregon (Crook-Wasco)-ssb Oregon (Klamath Basin) Pennsylvania (southeast) Texas (Panhandle) Wisconsin (Lancaster) Washington (Columbia Basin) Wyoming (eastern) Good-quality alfalfa California (northern SJV) California (southeast) Idaho Kansas (all regions) Missouri Nebraska (east/central)-lrb New Mexico (southeast) Oklahoma (western)-lrb Oregon (Klamath Basin)-ssb Pennsylvania (southeast) South Dakota Texas (Panhandle) Washington (Columbia Basin)

Price $/ton 195 250-265 225 300 185-200 270-340 185-226 185-225 195-250 160-175 195-200 230 210 215-250 255-270 200-230 195-200 Price $/ton 180-220 220 245-270 190-200 240-260 255 200 215 170-200 170-200 225-250 180 220 225 250 200 325 230-245 250-300 200-208 180 Price $/ton 200 170-175 160 160-175 120-160 105-115 200-210 180 130-140 250 175-225 175-190 190-200

(d)

(d)

(d) (o) (o)

(d)

Wisconsin (Lancaster)-lrb Wyoming (western) Fair-quality alfalfa California (northern SJV) California (southeast) Idaho Iowa (Rock Valley)-lrb Kansas (all regions) Minnesota (Pipestone)-lrb Missouri Montana Nebraska (east/central)-lrb Nebraska (western) New Mexico (southwest) South Dakota (Corsica)-lrb South Dakota-lrb Wisconsin (Lancaster)-lrb Wyoming (western) Bermudagrass hay Alabama-Premium lrb California (southeast)-Good Oklahoma (central)-Good lrb Texas (Panhandle)-Premium Texas (south)-Good/Premium lrb Bromegrass hay Kansas (southeast)-Good Missouri-Good Orchardgrass hay California (intermountain)-Premium California (northern SJV) Oregon (Crook-Wasco)-Premium ssb Pennsylvania (southeast)-Premium Washington (Columbia Basin)-Premium

Timothy hay Montana-Premium ssb Montana-Good-ssb (d) Pennsylvania (southeast)-Good Wyoming (western)-Premium ssb Oat hay Colorado (San Luis Valley)-Good Iowa (Rock Valley)-lrb Kansas (south central)-lrb New Mexico (north central) Texas (Panhandle) Washington (Columbia Basin)-ssb Straw Iowa (Rock Valley) Kansas (north central/east) (d) Minnesota (Pipestone)-lrb Montana Nebraska (western) Pennsylvania (southeast) (d) South Dakota Wyoming (eastern)

120-170 160-165 Price $/ton 200 (d) 160-175 150 93-125 90-130 105-120 100-125 110-125 90 130-140 130-150 98 140 100 120-130 Price $/ton 133 170 105 140-160 (d) 120-160 Price $/ton 120-150 80-120 Price $/ton 280 200 240-275 220-295 172-180 Price $/ton 240-270 160-180 270 235-250 Price $/ton 130 75 70-85 165-180 170-175 (d) 110 Price $/ton 85-110 100-110 (d) 47 35-45 80 190-220 110 70-80

Abbreviations: d=delivered, lrb=large round bales, ssb=small square bales, o=organic

46 | Hay & Forage Grower | November 2019

F2 46 Nov 2019 Forage IQ.indd 1

10/30/19 8:42 AM


M OW . CONDITION. BALE. BETTER.

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Alfalfa Variety Ratings 2020 Winter Survival, Fall Dormancy & Pest Resistance Ratings for Alfalfa Varieties

This National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance publication is intended for use by Extension and agri-business personnel to satisfy a need for information on characteristics of certified-eligible alfalfa varieties. NAFA updates this publication annually.

2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 1

10/15/2019 12:23:59 PM


WINTER SURVIVAL, FALL DORMANCY & PEST RESISTANCE RATINGS FOR ALFALFA VARIETIES % Resistant Plants 0-5% 6-14% 15-30% 31-50% >50%

RESISTANCE RATINGS Resistance Class Susceptible Low Resistance Moderate Resistance Resistance High Resistance

FD Rating 1 2 3 4 5

FALL DORMANCY (FD) RATING DESCRIPTIONS Description FD Rating Description Very Dormant 6 7 Semi-Dormant Dormant 8 9 Non-Dormant Moderately Dormant 10 11 Very Non-Dormant

FD is the degree of fall alfalfa growth, as a response to temperature and day length. Lower dormancy ratings exhibit less fall growth, while higher dormancy ratings indicate greater fall growth. FD ratings are indices assigned by comparing the height of fall growth with standard check varieties, and tested across locations and years to accurately represent dormancy response across environments.

WINTER SURVIVAL RATINGS Category Check Variety Extremely Winterhardy ZG 9830 Very Winterhardy 5262 Winterhardy WL325HQ Moderately Winterhardy G-2852 Slightly Winterhardy Archer Non-Winterhardy CUF 101

Class Abbreviations S LR MR R HR

Score 1 2 3 4 5 6

FD 3 - DORMANT

FD 2

Spredor 5

Nexgrow Alfalfa

Spyder

BrettYoung

HR R HR R

54VQ52

Pioneer

HR HR R HR HR HR HR R

R

55H96

Pioneer

HR R HR HR HR HR HR R

R

6305Q

Nexgrow Alfalfa

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

M

G G

R HR MR

HR

R

R HR HR HR

R

Graze N Hay 3.10RR

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

Hi-Gest 360

Alforex Seeds

HVX Tundra II

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

LegenDairy AA

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR

LegenDairy XHD

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Octane

BrettYoung

RR Presteez

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Rugged

Alforex Seeds

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR MR

Survivor

BrettYoung

H

R

R R

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R MR R

M

G

R

H

G RX

H

G

R

H

G

HR

L

R HR

MR

H

HR

MR

R

R

R R HR

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

R HR R

R

MR R

2 HR R

R

R HR

R

AmeriStand 433T RR America's Alfalfa

HR R

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

BrettYoung

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

Foothold

R

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR MR

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

BrettYoung

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

3010

Northern Root Knot Nematode

2 HR HR HR HR HR R

Southern Root Knot Nematode

BrettYoung

Stem Nematode

2010

Potato Leafhopper

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

Information is obtained from the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) and the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board (NAVRB) report. Blank spaces indicate the variety has no approved rating through AOSCA.

R

G Y

R

G

R

2020 VL - 2 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 2

10/15/2019 12:24:02 PM


MR

H

WL 336HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R HR

MR

H

54HVX42

Pioneer

HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

R

R

54Q14

Pioneer

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

R

R

54Q29

Pioneer

HR HR R HR HR HR R

R HR

54VR10

Pioneer

HR HR R HR HR HR HR R HR

54VR70

Pioneer

4010BR

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

HR R HR

4020MF

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

HR MR HR

4030

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R MR HR

4319.A2 RR

La Crosse Seed

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

6401N

Nexgrow Alfalfa

6409HVXR

Nexgrow Alfalfa

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

6422Q

Nexgrow Alfalfa

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

6424R

R

R

R

R HR HR R

G

R RX

R

HR

MR

R

R

HR

R

H HR

HR MR

R

H

R

R

H

Nexgrow Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

R

H

R

6427R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

H

R

6439HVXR

Nexgrow Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

R

H

RX

6472A

Nexgrow Alfalfa

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

R

H

G

6497R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

H

G

AFX 429

Alforex Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

R

R

R

L

AFX 457

Alforex Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

R

R

L

AFX 460

Alforex Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

R

R

H

AFX 469

Alforex Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

R MR R

HR

L

G

AmeriStand 409LH

America's Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

AmeriStand 415NT RR America's Alfalfa

HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

HR

HR H

G

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

HR

H

G

HR R

HR

HR M

R

HR H

G

R R

AmeriStand 445NT

America's Alfalfa

HR R HR HR HR R

R

G RX

R

G

HR R R

AmeriStand 455TQ RR America's Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

AmeriStand 457TQ RR America's Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR

R

H

G

AmeriStand 480 HVXRR America's Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

R

H

G RX

AmeriStand 481 HVXRR America's Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

R

H

RX

R

M

Barricade SLT

BrettYoung

HR HR HR HR HR HR

MR HR HR

Camas

LG Seeds

HR R HR HR HR HR

HR R

DG 417RR

Dyna-Gro

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

H

DG 4210

Dyna-Gro

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR R

R

H

DKA40-16

Dekalb

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

H

R

R

FD 4 - DORMANT

America's Alfalfa

MR R

HR M

R

R HR

AmeriStand 427TQ

HR HR HR HR HR R

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

R HR

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

W-L Alfalfas

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

Northern Root Knot Nematode

Southern Root Knot Nematode

Stem Nematode

Potato Leafhopper

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

WL 319HQ

FD 3

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

HR

G/F

HR M R G

2020 VL - 3 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 3

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FD 4 - DORMANT

BrettYoung

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

eXalt

LG Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR R

FF 42.A2

La Crosse Seed

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

FF 4022.LH

La Crosse Seed

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

FF 4215.HVX RR

La Crosse Seed

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

GA-409

Preferred

GrandStand II

Dyna-Gro

HG4001

LG Seeds

HVX Driver

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HVX HarvaTron HVX MegaTron

R

R

R

R

H H

R

R G

R

M

R

R

R

HR

H

R

H

HR

M

R MR R

R

M

R

R

R

H

RX

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

R

H

RX

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

H

RX

HR

HR RX

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR 2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R

HybriForce-2420/Wet Dairyland Seed

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

HybriForce-3400

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR MR

Dairyland Seed

R

H

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

Dynamo

R

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

Dekalb

R

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

DKA44-16RR

R

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Northern Root Knot Nematode

Dekalb

Southern Root Knot Nematode

DKA43-13

Stem Nematode

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R

Potato Leafhopper

Dekalb

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

DKA40-51RR

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

R HR

R R

HR R HR

H

HR R HR

H

HybriForce-3420/Wet Dairyland Seed

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

HybriForce-3430

Dairyland Seed

HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR R

HybriForce-4400

Dairyland Seed

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

Integra 8420

Wilbur-Ellis

HR HR HR HR HR HR

Integra 8444R

Wilbur-Ellis

R HR HR HR HR R

L-446RR

Legacy Seeds

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

L-455HD

Legacy Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

L-457HD+

Legacy Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR MR

LG 4HVXR100

LG Seeds

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

LG 4R300

LG Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

Magnum 7

Dairyland Seed

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

HR R HR

Magnum 7-Wet

Dairyland Seed

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

HR HR HR

Magnum 8

Dairyland Seed

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

Magnum Salt

Dairyland Seed

2 HR HR HR R HR R

R

Optimus

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

MR HR R

Rebound 6XT

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR

H

Rebound AA

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R

H

RR AphaTron 2XT

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

RR Stratica

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR R

RR VaMoose

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

MR R

R

R

L

H

R

HR

L

H

HR

HR

HR R

HR

HR

HR

R HR

H HR M R

M

G/F R

H

R

R

H

RX

HR

M

R

R MR

R HR HR

R MR R

R HR R HR R

R HR

L R

G/F M

R

H

R

H

HR MR

G R G

R

G

R

2020 VL - 4 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 4

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Shockwave BR

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

MR

HR R HR

Stockpile

BrettYoung

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR R

R

HR R HR

SW4107

S&W

SW4412Y

S&W

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 341HVX.RR

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 349HQ

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 354HQ

W-L Alfalfas

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

H

WL 356HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

HR

H

WL 358LH

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 359LH.RR

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

55Q28

Pioneer

HR HR R HR HR HR R

R

R

HR

HR

55V50

Pioneer

HR HR R HR HR HR HR R

R

R

HR

55VR08

Pioneer

6516R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

HR

6547R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

HR R HR HR HR HR

6585Q

Nexgrow Alfalfa

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

AFX 579

Alforex Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

AmeriStand 518NT

America's Alfalfa

HR HR HR HR HR HR

AmeriStand 545NT RR America's Alfalfa

R

R

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR MR R

H

R

R HR

HR R

H

HR

H

HR R

R

R

R

R

HR

HR H

R

HR

H

HR

L

HR

HR

HR H

R HR R HR HR HR

HR HR

HR

HR M

HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

HR

H

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R HR

R

G

R

G/F R G R

DG 5315

Dyna-Gro

DKA50-17

Dekalb

GA-497HD

Preferred

HR HR HR HR HR HR

GA-535

Preferred

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

R

GUNNER

Croplan

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

HR H

L-450RR

Legacy Seeds

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

MR HR

R

M

R

LG 5R300

LG Seeds

HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR HR

HR

M

R

MasterPiece II

J.R. Simplot

HR HR HR HR HR HR

HR

HR

MPIII Max Q

J.R. Simplot

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R HR

HR

H

G

Nimbus

Croplan

HR R HR HR HR HR

HR

HR

HR M

F

PGI 529

Alforex Seeds

MR R MR

R

RR NemaStar

Croplan

HR HR HR HR HR HR

RR Saltiva

Croplan

RR Tonnica

1 HR R HR HR HR HR

R

H

L

HR

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R HR MR

HR

M

Croplan

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

H

Slingshot

BrettYoung

2

Sureshot

BrettYoung

HR HR HR HR HR HR R

HR HR

HR R

G

H

R

R HR HR HR HR HR

R

R

FD 5 - MODERATELY DORMANT

HR M

R

R

M

HR

R

G

HR

HR HR

R

RX

FD 4

HR R

R HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR HR HR HR HR

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

J.R. Simplot

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

SGS 47M

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

Northern Root Knot Nematode

Southern Root Knot Nematode

Stem Nematode

Potato Leafhopper

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

R

M

G

R R

G

R

HR H L

2020 VL - 5 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 5

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FD 5 FD 6 - SEMI-DORMANT FD 7 - SEMI-DORMANT FD 8 - NON-DORMANT

HR HR

WL 372HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 375HVX.RR

W-L Alfalfas

2 HR HR HR HR HR HR HR

WL 377HQ

W-L Alfalfas

HR HR HR HR HR HR

6010

BrettYoung

6610N

Nexgrow Alfalfa

Alfagraze 600 RR

America's Alfalfa

ArtesianSun 6.3

Croplan

Cisco II

R

HR HR

HR HR HR R HR R

G

R

HR

H

R

R

HR

H

RX

HR

HR M

HR HR

R HR HR

R

HR H

R

2 HR HR HR HR HR R HR

R HR

HR

R

HR H

G

MR HR HR

R

R HR HR HR HR HR

HR

HR

Alforex Seeds

2 HR HR HR R HR MR

HR

R

Hi-Gest 660

Alforex Seeds

R MR HR HR R

HR HR R

HR

HybriForce-2600

Dairyland Seed

2 HR R HR HR HR R

R

Integra 8600

Wilbur-Ellis

Revolt

Nexgrow Alfalfa

RR 6 Shot Plus

Croplan

R HR HR HR HR R

HR HR

HR

L

RRALF 6R200

LG Seeds

R

HR HR HR

HR HR

M

SW6330

S&W

R LR R

R HR MR

MR R

WL 454HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

R

R HR R

HR

WL 467HQ

W-L Alfalfas

R HR

HR

6829R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

R

R

R HR HR

HR HR R

HR

G

AFX 779

Alforex Seeds

R

R

R

HR HR R

R

G

AmeriStand 618NT

America's Alfalfa

HR HR HR

HR

R HR HR HR

HR HR

HR

HR R HR HR HR

HR HR

HR

AmeriStand 715NT RR America's Alfalfa

MR R

R

R MR

R

R

R HR HR HR

HR R HR HR HR R

R

MR MR HR R HR R

LG 7C300

LG Seeds

Magna 715

Dairyland Seed

R

R HR HR R

SW7410

S&W

R

HR MR R

AmeriStand 803T

America's Alfalfa

MR

HR MR HR

R

HR HR HR

R HR HR HR R

R

R

R

Dyna-Gro

R

HR HR HR

R

Integra 8800

Wilbur-Ellis

Magna 801FQ

Dairyland Seed

Sun Titan

Croplan

MR MR HR R HR

HR HR HR

SW8421S

S&W

HR

HR R

WL 535HQ

W-L Alfalfas

WL 552HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

HR HR R

R

R

HR R HR

HR R

R

G/F R R

M

G/F R

R

R

M

R HR HR HR

R R R

G

HR H

HR

HR

R

M

HR

GrandSlam

R

R

HR

R

R

M

HR

HR R

M

G

HR M

R HR HR

R HR

H

MR R LR HR

HR

R

H

R HR HR

HR HR HR

R MR HR MR HR

G/F G

HR

R MR HR LR R HR R HR

R HR

R

AmeriStand 835NTS RR America's Alfalfa

R HR R HR

MR H

HR R HR

HR R HR HR HR R HR HR R

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

W-L Alfalfas

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

WL 365HQ

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

HR

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

1 HR HR HR HR HR HR

Northern Root Knot Nematode

W-L Alfalfas

Southern Root Knot Nematode

WL 363HQ

HR HR HR HR HR HR HR R HR

Stem Nematode

S&W

Potato Leafhopper

SW5213

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

R

G R

F

R

G G

R

2020 VL - 6 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 6

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6906N

Nexgrow Alfalfa

MR

R

HR HR HR

HR

G

AFX 960

Alforex Seeds

LR MR HR HR R

HR HR HR

HR

G

AmeriStand 901TS

America's Alfalfa

R MR HR R HR

HR R

AmeriStand 955NT RR America's Alfalfa

HR R HR MR HR

HR HR R

HR

DG 9212

Dyna-Gro

LR R HR HR HR

HR HR HR

HR

LG 9C300

LG Seeds

MR

R

R

Magna 995

Dairyland Seed

LR LR HR MR HR

HR R

PGI 908-S

Alforex Seeds

R

R HR HR HR

HR HR HR

R HR HR

RR Desert Rose

Croplan

R

R HR HR HR

HR HR HR

R

RRALF 9R100

LG Seeds

R

R HR R HR

HR HR HR

HR

G

Sun Quest

Croplan

HR HR HR

HR

G

SW9215

HR R

R LR

R

R HR

S&W

R

HR

SW9628

S&W

LR

SW9720

S&W

MR

SW9215RRS

S&W

WL 656HQ

W-L Alfalfas

MR

WL 668HQ.RR

W-L Alfalfas

HR R HR HR HR

6015R

Nexgrow Alfalfa

R MR R

R

AFX 1060

Alforex Seeds

LR R

R

R

SW10

S&W

MR

R

R H G

HR R HR

HR

R LR R

HR R

R

HR

R

R

HR HR R

MR HR

S HR MR

HR

HR R HR

G/F R

HR R HR

R MR R

R

G

R

F F G/F R

HR HR HR

HR

G

HR HR R

HR

G

R

R

HR HR HR

HR

G

R

R

HR R

HR

R

HR HR HR

R

HR

G R

FD 10

MR

HR

FD 9 - NON-DORMANT

HR R

R

R-RRA; X-HarvXtra; H-75-95% Hybrid

Salt Tolerance (G-Germination/F-Forage)

Standability Expression (R-Resistance)

Continuous Grazing Tolerance (Y-Yes)

Multifoliolate Expression (H-High/M-Mod/L-Low)

Northern Root Knot Nematode

Southern Root Knot Nematode

Stem Nematode

Potato Leafhopper

Blue Alfalfa Aphid

Pea Aphid

Spotted Alfalfa Aphid

Aphanomyces Race 2 Root Rot

Aphanomyces Race 1 Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot

Anthracnose Race 1

Fusarium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt

Bacterial Wilt

Winter Survival

Variety

Contact for Marketing Information

This publication provides ratings of alfalfa varieties eligible for certification by seed certifying agencies. It does not list all important characteristics to be considered in the selection of alfalfa varieties. With the exception of some varieties listed as checks, all varieties listed can be purchased in the United States.

NAFA HEADQUARTERS OFFICE

4630 Churchill Street, #1 St. Paul, MN 55126 Phone: (651) 484-3888 • Fax: (651) 638-0756 nafa@alfalfa.org

NAFA WESTERN OFFICE

6601 W Deschutes Ave, #C-2 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone: (509) 585-5460 • Fax: (509) 585-2671 agmgt@agmgt.com

VISIT NAFA AT ALFALFA.ORG

2020 VL - 7 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 7

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MARKETERS

Varieties are submitted by marketers and listing does not imply NAFA endorsement. Variety information in this publication is that which is submitted for certification.

AgReliant Genetics

J.R. Simplot Company

Preferred Alfalfa Genetics

Leaflet Listing: LG Seeds

Leaflet Listing: J.R. Simplot

Leaflet Listing: Preferred

Westfield, IN 46074 800-544-6310

Boise, ID 83707 208-780-2728

Story City, IA 50248 515-733-2203

www.lgseeds.com

www.simplot.com

brendale@outlook.com

Alforex Seeds

La Crosse Seed

S&W Seed Company

Leaflet Listing: Alforex Seeds

Leaflet Listing: La Crosse Seed

Leaflet Listing: S&W

Jordan, MN 55352 877-560-5181

La Crosse, WI 54603 800-356-7333

Five Points, CA 93624 916-554-5480

www.alforexseeds.com

www.lacrosseseed.com

www.swseedco.com

America’s Alfalfa

Legacy Seeds LLC

Wilbur-Ellis Company

Leaflet Listing: America’s Alfalfa

Leaflet Listing: Legacy Seeds

Leaflet Listing: Wilbur-Ellis

Nampa, ID 83653 800-873-2532

Scandinavia, WI 54977 715-467-2555

Ames, IA 50014 515-292-1300

www.americasalfalfa.com

www.legacyseeds.com

www.integraseed.com

BrettYoung

NEXGROW Alfalfa

WinField United

Leaflet Listing: BrettYoung

Leaflet Listing: Nexgrow Alfalfa

Leaflet Listing: Croplan

Winnipeg, MB R3V 1L5 800-665-5015

Runnells, IA 50237 855-4NEXGROW

St. Paul, MN 55164 800-328-9680

www.brettyoung.ca

www.plantnexgrow.com

www.croplan.com

Dairyland Seed

Nutrien Ag Solutions

W-L Alfalfas

Leaflet Listing: Dairyland Seed

Leaflet Listing: Dyna-Gro

Leaflet Listing: W-L Alfalfas

West Bend, WI 53095 800-236-0163

Meridian, ID 83642 612-419-5274

Collierville, TN 38017 651-375-5244

www.dairylandseed.com

www.dynagroseed.com

www.wlalfalfas.com

DEKALB

Pioneer

Leaflet Listing: Dekalb

Leaflet Listing: Pioneer

St. Louis, MO 63167 800-335-2676

Johnston, IA 50131 715-223-7390

www.dekalb.com

www.pioneer.com

NAFA is proud to collaborate with Hay & Forage Grower on the distribution of its “Winter Survival, Fall Dormancy & Pest Resistance Ratings for Alfalfa Varieties” 2020 Edition.

“Winter Survival, Fall Dormancy & Pest Resistance Ratings for Alfalfa Varieties” 2020 Edition is a publication of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance and cannot be reproduced without prior written permission from NAFA.

VISIT NAFA AT ALFALFA.ORG 2020 Variety Leaflet.indd 8

10/15/2019 12:24:12 PM

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