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All set for 2014 Hay and Forage Expo

By Staff | Jun 14, 2014

A PAIR OF CASE IH units work through the hay field during the 2012 Hay Expo in Boone. In the foreground is the DC 132 pull-type disc mower with conditioner, followed by the self-propelled WD 2303.

BOONE (FPA) – Alfalfa that will be used for field demonstrations during the Hay and Forage Expo should be in good shape for the event June 25 and 26.

That assessment came from the Farm Progress America website after the first cutting of alfalfa was taken on May 24.

This year’s event will be held at Central Iowa Expo grounds, near the intersection of U.S. highway 30 and Iowa Highway 17, between Boone and Ames, the same location where the Farm Progress Show will be held in August.

New name

Formerly the Hay Expo, the new Hay and Forage Expo presents the industry’s latest technology. Adding the word forage to its name fully recognizes the significance of forage production techniques and technology at the show.

VERMEER’S TM 1400 mower works through the demonstration field at the 2012 Farm Progress Hay Expo. The implement leaves cut grass in a wide swath to facilitate faster drying. A company rep said this allows the hay to cure better.

“We are excited to bring the Hay and Forage Expo back to Boone,” said Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager. “The facilities and services available to visitors and exhibitors make it a great location to host the show.

“And everyone gets a sneak peek at the new paved roads throughout the event site and additional improvements.”

Tech and demos

Visitors to the 28th annual event get exclusive access to the latest hay and forage technology with an extensive exhibit field and working demonstrations conducted throughout each day.

“The Hay and Forage Expo offers the perfect combination of field demonstrations and ag product displays,” Jungmann said. “The exhibit field is the place to discuss seed, hay marketing, crop production, conservation and more.”

Alfalfa fields designated for parking during the Farm Progress Show will be used for the haying and forage harvesting demonstrations.

That means around 150 acres of alfalfa is available for the demos.

This is the industry’s only two-day hay and forage event in the nation.

Live field demonstrations of hay making, hay handling and forage harvesting are the key draw for visitors.

The two-day extravaganza showcases mowing, conditioning, baling, hay handling and haylage demonstrations on alfalfa.

Visitors can compare the various equipment brands side by side under actual field conditions.

A 10-acre exhibit field highlights displays from the major and shortline specialty manufacturers, seed, building and storage facility suppliers, and a range of related product suppliers.

Exhibitors plan to present a multitude of products aimed at boosting farmers’ efficiency and profitability for their hay and forage production.

Hay harvest

The alfalfa acres are owned by Farm Progress Show host farmer Eric Ziel. He said the crop came through the harsh winter of 2013-14 in fine shape.

“Considering the winter we had, the alfalfa survived quite well,” Ziel said.

Ziel took the first cutting on the 80-acre north parking lot on May 24.

“Typically the first cutting is around the middle of May, but the season is later this year by a couple weeks. The crop was a little short and not in full bloom.

“It probably needed about another week of growth. But we wanted to do our best to have full growth for the second cutting which will be harvested during the Hay and Forage Expo.

“The field demos will take place on this field. Some will be mowed ahead of time so it’s ready for the baling demos.”

Ziel doesn’t raise livestock anymore so he harvests the hay on shares with the Doerder family who provide the harvesting equipment and labor.

Ziel and the Doerders have an established customer base for their hay – a dairy farm in Kansas and a neighboring goat farm.

The first cutting was put up in big round bales, but second and third cuttings will be big square bales and a few small squares, depending on the weather.

“The big squares sell the best,” said Cory Doerder.

Ziel said the alfalfa was seeded in 2008 for the first Farm Progress Show held on the site.

“So, we will soon be into the seventh season on this crop. We hope to get another three years out of it.”

Educational exhibits

In addition to the field demonstrations, visitors can visit exhibitors on the exhibit field where to learn more about the equipment that is operated in the field as well as other manufactures who are not demonstrating.

The Haying Industries Tent will have the latest in livestock feeding and handling equipment, as well as information on seed and forage crop protection products.\

There is a huge educational component to the Hay and Forage Expo as well.

For example, Iowa State University and other agencies and organizations will have specialists on hand to answer questions about growing forages.

For more information, visit www.HayExpo.com.

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