• By Adam Probst, Extension Agent

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Looks like I need that hay after all

Source: Dr. Jimmy Henning; UK Forage Extension Specialist (excerpt from the Farmer’s Pride) The cold and wet weather this winter is a reminder that stored feed is important to livestock operations. Plan to attend the 38th Annual Alfalfa and Stored Forages Conference Feb. 21 in Lexington. The program will focus on the practical considerations for the production of high-quality hay and baleage. UK Ag Economist Dr. Greg Halich will address the economics of hay and stored feed and David Knopf (USDA Ag Statistics) will be updating the group on state and national hay prices and trends.

The infrastructure of hay making will also be highlighted. Dr. Josh Jackson will provide an update on hay making equipment and technology and Dr. Morgan Hayes will address barn considerations for cash hay operations. Josh and Morgan are UK Extension Specialists in Ag Engineering and produce hay on their own farms. These are new faculty at UK who are bringing fresh information to producers, and you won’t want to miss them.

Producer speakers will play a significant role in this year’s conference. Ron Tombaugh will walk us through the evolution of mechanization and transportation in his hay operation. Ron and Sandy Tombaugh own and operate Dart Hay Service (Streator, Ill.). Ron grows and harvests several hundred acres of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay annually and delivers hay using his own long-haul trucks over the eastern half of the US, including Kentucky.

Finally, a panel of producers will present how baleage works on their farms. Todd Clark (Lexington), Tom Wright (Shelbyville) and Jody Watson (Jackson, Tennessee) will lead a panel discussion of how baleage works on their farms. Actual farm data on the quality of Kentucky baleage will be shared including moisture content, pH and fermentation profiles of the volatile fatty acids that preserve the baleage.

The 38th Annual Alfalfa and Stored Forages Conference will be held at the Fayette County Extension Office, 1140 Harry Sykes Way in Lexington Feb. 21. Registration is online and is $35 per person, with a $10 discount if done before Feb. 15. Attendees can also get a $10 discount on the KFGC membership.

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