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We’ve scoured the news sources for you to provide coverage of forage news and current events.


Under pressure from farm groups, the Labor Department has agreed to modify a plan that's intended to keep children away from some of the most dangerous farm jobs.

The proposal now will include broader exemptions for children whose parents are part owners or operators of farms, or have a substantial interest in a farm partnership or corporation, officials said. The rules would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven equipment and prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards.

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John Deere announced today it has established a strategic agreement with MacDon Industries Ltd. to better serve existing and future John Deere self-propelled windrower customers globally.

"This agreement allows us to expand the John Deere hay and forage product portfolio to better serve our dairy, livestock, commercial hay and small grains customers," said William F. Norton, Vice President, Global Hay & Forage Platform.

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Wilbur-Ellis Company employee Dan Wray, general manager of the North America forage operations, has been appointed president of the Export Processors Council (EPC), a division of the National Hay Association (NHA), which works to advance industry issues and guarantee the safe export of forage products. Wray is also on the board of directors of the NHA.

As president, Wray will work with the EPC to promote the NHA’s mission in foreign markets by collaborating with foreign agriculture governmental agencies and foreign trade associations to set policies and guidelines in hay exports.

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Corn grown in rotation with soybeans requires less nitrogen fertilizer than continuous corn, while producing higher average yields per acre, according to a recent research study by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.

"Our research shows that corn residue acts like a 'sponge' immobilizing the fertilizer, making it temporarily unavailable to the corn plant," says John Shanahan, Pioneer agronomy research manager. "Growers working with continuous corn need to be mindful of crop residue from the previous year and adjust (and likely increase) their nitrogen fertilizer rates accordingly."

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A series of studies at Purdue University has shown that spray water pH and hardness can reduce the effectiveness of herbicides, making it vitally important for crop producers to test water sources.

Hard water or water with pH values as low as 4 or as high as 9 have been shown to lower the efficacy of herbicides, including glyphosate, nicosulfuron and saflufenacil, said Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension weed scientist and professor of botany and plant pathology. An ideal pH value would be 6-7.

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0112fg_forage_folks_1Glenn Shewmaker
Extension Forage Specialist
University of Idaho

Idaho alfalfa hay acreage was 1 million acres in 2011 (NASS, 2012), which was down 130,000 acres from 2010. Peak alfalfa hay acreage was 1.2 million acres in 2003.

Production was 4.3 million tons and if we assume an average value of $225/ton, then alfalfa hay was worth $967 million in Idaho for 2011.

Less acres and a dip in yield produced reduced hay stocks compared to past years and some livestock operations may not have adequate supplies to last them until first cutting.

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