November 29, 2022

Upcoming Events
Not Chasing Unicorns:
High NDFD Is Possible in High-NDF Forages
Adapting Windrow Widths Helps Manage Hay Quality During Volatile Cutting Weather
Hay Market Steady to Stronger Toward End of November
Forage Extension Position
Is Open at Iowa State University

In the News: Drought Management Meetings, Feeding Corn Residue, Grazing Drought-Stricken Pasture, Supplementing Grazing Cattle

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to Donate to MFA
Take Advantage of MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database
"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!!
2022 Sponsors
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MFA Website
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Not Chasing Unicorns: High NDFD Is Possible in High-NDF Forages
Matt Lippert, University of Wisconsin Extension Dairy Agent, Clark & Wood Counties

When formulating dairy rations, more concentrated nutrient options are often preferred. For example, years ago ear corn was the most popular grain option, before the industry moved on to shell corn. Then 44% soybean meal lost ground to higher protein options, and ingredients high in specific amino acids (blood meal, porcine meat and bone, etc.) now compete with commercial products that provide only the essential amino acid in a nearly pure form.

There are various reasons for this trend. If the ration is deficient in one specific nutrient, correcting the deficiency is done most easily by adding the specific nutrient rather than an ingredient that may provide other non-related nutrients at the same time. Quality control and consistency are often cited as advantages of using the more purified forms. Nutritionists like the consistency that comes with shell corn, compared to the variation in starch, protein, moisture, etc., that comes with high-moisture snaplage.

Consistency, the lack of unknown variation, has become very important in modern high-performance lactation rations. Farms that deliver more consistent rations will typically be rewarded in higher production and better herd health – all other factors being equal. For the complete article, click here.

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Adapting Windrow Widths Helps Manage Hay Quality During Volatile Cutting Weather
Joanna Larson, MacDon Product Management Support

The effects of weather on hay production are numerous, and the choices and adjustments made are absolutely critical at cutting time to maintain the highest yield and quality of the crop. Unfortunately, sometimes finding a suitable window by following the forecast closely and getting the crop cut and baled as quickly as possible just doesn’t pan out.

So what can you do? Fortunately, adjustability of windrow width, conditioner rolls, and crop streams allows you to set up the best possible outcome. Windrow width cannot be overstressed. Though unique climates make hard-and-fast rules difficult, some common recommendations and considerations on windrow width are as follows. Click here for the complete article.

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Hay Market Steady to Stronger
Toward End of November

Fae Holin, MFA Communication Specialist

The Upper Midwestern hay market is steady to stronger, according to recent auction sale reports and the Nov. 28 Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest..

Prime (greater than 151 RFV/RFQ) alfalfa large squares sold for $255/ton; large rounds, $221/ton; and small squares, $288/ton, according to the Upper Midwestern report. Grade 1 hay (125-150 RFV/RFQ) averaged $215/ton for large squares, $191/ton for large rounds, and $202/ton for small squares while Grade 2 hay (103-124 RFV/RFQ) averaged $171/ton for large squares and $152/ton for large rounds. Grade 3 hay (87-102 RFV/RFQ) large squares and large rounds averaged $100/ton and $121/ton, respectively. Click here for the complete article.

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Forage Extension Position Is Open at Iowa State University

Iowa State University is looking to fill a fulltime forage Extension position at Ames. The Assistant Professor in Forage Extension position’s primary responsibilities will be in Extension (60%), with secondary responsibilities in research and teaching. The application deadline is Jan. 1, and the proposed start date is March 1. For more information and to apply, click here.

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In the News: Drought Management Meetings, Feeding Corn Residue, Grazing Drought-Stricken Pasture, Supplementing Grazing Cattle

Three meetings to help northwestern Iowa cattle producers manage previous and continuing drought conditions will be offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. That's according to the Nov. 11 Morning Ag Clips article, "Northwest Iowa pasture, hay, forage meetings." The Dec. 6 session will be held 10 a.m.-noon at the ISU Extension and Outreach Office, Pocahontas. Preregister at 712-335-3103. The Dec. 12 meeting is set for 1-3 p.m., St. John’s United Methodist Church, Mapleton. Preregister to 712-423-2175. The final session will be held Dec. 19, 1-3 p.m., at the Le Mars Convention Center, Le Mars. Preregister to 712-546-7835. Pasture, Range and Forage Insurance and USDA financial assistance programs will be discussed as well as topics including assessing and repairing pasture/hay stands and alternative and short-term forages. For more information, click here.

If you’re considering feeding cattle corn residue bales in round bale feeders, know that the animals won’t get the same nutrition than if they were grazing corn residue, says Mary Drewnoski, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Systems Specialist. In the Nov. 17 BEEF magazine article, “Can feeding corn residue in a round bale feeder meet cow needs?” she writes that cows will spend time sorting through the bales and consume only 1.2% of body weight. Drewnoski recommends pairing the diet with a feed or feeds that provide energy and protein. For more information, click here.

North Dakota ranchers are warned to lightly or moderately graze range and pastureland, which have been hit hard by past years’ drought, overgrazing, and continuing drought into this fall. “As of early November 2022, over 92% of North Dakota is in a moderate to severe drought compared to 65% in 2020,” according to a Nov. 16 North Dakota State University press release, “Plan Now for the 2023 Grazing Season,” NDSU Extension specialists suggest using “what if” scenarios to guide your grazing strategies next spring. Find them here..

Mineral supplementation can overcome deficiencies in grasses being grazed, reminds experts at Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute in the Nov. 16 article, “Supplementing Cows Diets” “Cattle get the majority of their nutrition from forages, and the quality of what they are grazing will vary widely depending on the maturity of the grass and season of the year,” said veterinarian Bob Larson. Different forage species also have varied mineral concentrations, adds nutritionist Phillip Lancaster. They suggest consulting with local experts to learn how to optimally supplement minerals to animals. For more information, click here.

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Get Amazon Smile to Donate to MFA

If you haven’t already designated the Midwest Forage Association as your charitable organization when buying off Amazon, it’s a great time to do so. Amazon allows for 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to go to MFA – without any expense to you. On your first visit to or AmazonSmile on your Amazon Shopping app, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization to receive donations and can select the Midwest Forage Association.

Donations come from the Amazon Smile Foundation, and you can make your purchases just as you have been through The site will even keep track of how much of a donation is being made through your purchases! For more information, click here.

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Take Advantage of MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database

As an MFA member, one of the most valuable resources at your disposal is MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database, a one-stop-shop for all of your forage research needs. MFA's Research Database features every Clippings and Forage Focus research article, as well as each MFRP final report. You can also change and personalize your password after signing in. Proceedings (and videos where appropriate) will also be archived a year after the meeting date. Your user name and password can be found on your MFA membership card or by contacting the MFA office at

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"Hay," Mark Your Calendar!!

  • Annual Winter Forage Conference
    Dec. 15
    Hosted by Kansas Forage and Grassland Council and Kansas State University
    Burnside Room, Great Bend, KS
    9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    For more information, call 620-793-1910.

  • American Forage & Grassland Council Annual Conference
    January 8-11
    Winston-Salem, NC
    For more information, click here.

  • Wisconsin Dells Symposium
    Feb. 20-22
    Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI
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2022 Sponsors
Platinum Level - $10,000
Gold Level - $5,000
W-L Alfalfas
Silver Level - $2,500
Alfalfa Partners - a brand of S&W Co.
Alforex Seeds
Dairyland Laboratories
Dairyland Seed Co.
Josilac, a Josera brand
Krone NA
La Crosse Seed
Rock River Laboratory
Bronze Level - $1,500
Ag-Bag by RCI
Eisentraut Ag Services - ROC
Harvest Tec
Lallemand Animal Nutrition
Oxbo International
Promote, Cargill's additives brand
Allied Level - $500
Agassiz Seed & Supply
Albert Lea Seed House
Barenbrug USA
Byron Seeds
CLAAS of America
Country Visions Cooperative
CP Feeds
Delmhorst Instrument
Dohrmann Enterprises
EIS Implement
Faber's Farm Equipment
H&S Manufacturing Co.
Hay & Forage Grower
John Deere
Kuhn North America
Legacy Seeds
Meyer Manufacturing
Midwest Machinery
Mountain View Seeds
Mustang Seeds
Nicolet National Bank
Nutretain, Dellait's forage inoculants
Poettinger US
Riesterer & Schnell
Swiderski Equipment
Taunton & Meyer CPA
Vanderloop Equipment
Vincent, Urban, Walker & Associates, Inc.
Vita Plus
Midwest Forage Association - 4630 Churchill St #1 - St. Paul, MN 55126
651-484-3888 - -
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