Integrated Crop Management

Indicators point to hay supply deficits in Iowa

Livestock producers are encouraged to regularly assess their forage inventories. This year there are several indicators that point to localized or even statewide hay deficits.

Higher grain prices and the early-season freeze have contributed to decreased alfalfa, mixed alfalfa and grass, and other 'hay' acreage. (Natural Resources Conservation Service) [1]Higher grain prices and the early-season freeze have contributed to decreased alfalfa, mixed alfalfa and grass, and other 'hay' acreage. (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

The early summer USDA crop acreage estimates indicate that 2007 alfalfa, mixed alfalfa and grass, and "other hay" acreage is down 8 to 9 percent from that of a year ago. Higher grain prices and the early-season freeze have contributed to this decreased acreage. In addition, the early April freeze led to 20 to 50 percent lower first-cutting yields across much of the state. Potato leaf-hopper populations are high already and may contribute further to reduced summer production in alfalfa-based hay fields.

Some ways to possibly make up some of the deficits could be considered:

Stephen K. Barnhart is a professor of agronomy with extension, teaching, and research responsibilities in forage production and management.

This article originally appeared on page 221 of the IC-498(18) -- July 9, 2007 issue.


Source URL:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm//ipm/icm/2007/7-9/hay.html