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ISSUE DATE: 06/10/2013

What's in your bale of alfalfa?

By Kylene Scott

When hay supplies are tight and drought conditions in many areas limit current alfalfa production, buyers and sellers need to be as proactive as they can when finding quality alfalfa to feed to their livestock. Testing is one way to see exactly what is in the hay.

High-quality forages are crucial for livestock, furnishing essential energy, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Most domestic livestock depend almost entirely on forages as part of their diets. The best measure of forage quality is animal productivity, and in turn it is affected by forage intake, digestibility and nutrient utilization efficiency.


Vanessa Corriher-Olson, assistant professor and Extension forage specialist with Texas A&M University, recommends for feeding value, hay/forage needs to be analyzed for crude protein and energy. However, the TAMU Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory provides crude protein, Acid Detergent Fiber, Neutral Detergent Fiber, nitrates and minerals as choices for testing.

“Most labs use chemical testing, but if producers want to know specifically in regards to the laboratory they use I would recommend asking the laboratory,” Corriher-Olson said. “Testing should be close to 100 percent accurate. If a producer ever has questions about an analysis they can visit with the laboratory and potentially have a sample run more than once.”


China's Shuanghui in $4.7B deal for Smithfield
Hartzler leads Ag Committee repeal of USDA Catfish Inspection Program
Noble scientists prep research for second space mission
USDA predicts record ag trade


2013 AFA Leaders Conference sponsorship applications available
APHIS announces intent to prepare EIS on Dicamba and 2,4
CME Group expands agricultural options offering with new KCBT wheat options contracts
Combustible dust workshops offered
Economist: Pace of corn consumption will reveal strength of demand
Evaluate early-season corn stands
'Focus on Corn' webcast covers weeds, nitrogen
Foreign wheat production may affect demand, prices
Hoffman Harvesting begins season in Texas
'Infographics' aim to educate consumers about ethanol
Investigation ongoing into GM wheat discovery in Oregon
Iowa Learning Farms hosts Smeltzer Trust Farm Field Day
Irrigation spells difference in 2012 ag incomes
John Jenkinson to conduct live broadcasts at 3i Show
Misener crew dealing with unpredictability as best they can
National Festival of Breads highlights art of home baking
NRCS helps improve water quality in watersheds across the country
Osowski crew deals with the perils of preparation
Pests without borders: Global marketplace imports, exports more pests
Project aims to biofortify rice for improved nutritional value
Registrations due for cropping school at Scottsbluff, Neb.; Focus is on sugarbeets
Roland harvesting rollin' with the punches
Soybean executive named CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers
Trade teams open doors for international wheat market
United Soybean Board farmer-leaders honor use of biodiesel and other soy products
UNL Panhandle crop production budgets updated online
UNL scientists experiment with corn silage in finishing diets
USDA asking farmers to assist with June survey
Wheat plot tour talks about more than wheat
Wheat trading partners react to GM wheat announcement
Zeorian crew anxious to start the season


Applicable to all
Beef Improvement Federation meeting still on track
Beef producers asked to take online survey
Beefmaster feature to re-air on RFD-TV
BQA video series on cattle transportation available
Brahman's group to have junior national show
Cattle producers urged to test for bovine trichomoniasis
Cattle, hog producers have lower breakeven
Company expands conveyor line
Heading to a rodeo or horse show? Buying or selling a horse? Be sure to get a brand inspection
Heavy cattle: Sorting the opportunities from the challenges
Hickory County Cattlemen's bus tour planned
How to keep the herd
If cattle are not born wild or mishandled, dollars add up
Livestock foundation presents 5 scholarships
More beef cows in worst drought regions than a year ago
NBCA pleased with OIE vote to upgrade U.S. to 'negligible' risk for BSE
NCBA comments on Senate's failure to pass Clean Water Act amendment
ODAFF continues large animal assistance efforts
OKC West Livestock Market heavily damaged by tornado
Oklahoma tornado relief: How can you help the horses?
OSU to host Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association meeting
Shorthorn juniors headed to Iowa for show, conference
Sometimes you just need a cowboy
Support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act
Temple Grandin returning to Dodge City for 2-day event
UNL to host September beef symposium
USDA cell line identifies Foot and Mouth Disease virus serotypes
Warts and ringworm are surfacing on cattle
Water quality, quantity important for cattle operations
World Organization for Animal Health upgrades U.S. BSE risk status


Agriculture on the agenda
Searching for Sustainability
Seek shade, not sun
Uncertainty is certain


Capitalist-communist marketing merger
Company expands conveyor line
Firm helps producers find right product for right acre
From field to fork, quality is key ingredient
Gentlemen, start your engines
In other agribusiness news...
Reinke variable rate irrigation (VRI)
Temple Grandin returning to Dodge City for 2-day event
Turn your genes on
Woodward Livestock Auction teaming up with OKC West


Amarillo livestock auction summary
Clovis livestock auction report
Colorado feeder cattle summary
Corn closed higher
Dalhart livestock auction report
Despite weather, crop planting wraps up arkansas
Georgia cattle auction summary report
Grain market close
Hay trade slow
High Plains slaughter news report
Joplin regional livestock auction report
Lexington livestock market report
Most hay selling steady, some areas tight supplies
Newell sheep sales report
Planting wrapping up for some crops wyoming
Pratt 3 p.m. cattle sales report
Pratt livestock auction report
Rain keeps fields too wet Iowa
Severe weather brings flooding oklahoma
South Central Direct sheep sales report
Springfield livestock market report
Superior video auction report
Tulsa livestock auction report
West Plains regional livestock sales report
Western part of state still in drought nebraska
Wet weather halts planting, fieldwork missouri
Wheat condition mostly very poor new mexico
Where field conditions allow, planting continues kansas
Winter livestock auction report
Woodward livestock market report


Extra moisture can extend grass growth into summer slump, MU specialist says
KLA requests emergency CRP use in drought areas
Managing the nitrogen cycle in pastures
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association to host summer ranch tour
Reduce losses when feeding hay to beef cattle
What came first, the grass or the livestock?
What's in your bale of alfalfa?


Batter up with tasty summer treats
Columnist search begins
Evaluating online nutrition information
Weston's updated interior adds to its appeal

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