NEWS

2010 Hay Expo June 16 & 17

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Anyone interested in hay and forage production will want to be in Strawberry Point, Iowa, June 16 and 17. Known as the nation’s largest two-day hay event, the Hay Expo is designed to give alfalfa and forage producers an intensive, one-stop learning and shopping opportunity.

The host farm for the 2010 expo is Matt and Jana Hamlett. The Hamletts previously hosted the Hay Expo in 2006. This year’s event is on the same farm, along Highway 3, west of Strawberry Point.

The Hamletts, with the help of herdsman Tom Falck and wife Krista, milk about 250 cows. The dairy operation has evolved since 2006 when the Hamletts were milking 200 cows. In 2006, they had recently expanded the parlor to a double-10 and had built another freestall barn. They thought having 200 cows in the milking string was about as big as they wanted to be. But with the narrow profit margins, they have had to expand the herd and milk more cows to support their family and their employees.

“So we’re now up to 250, and after pushing the pencil, I think we’ll have to expand by another 25 or 30 cows,” says Matt. “We plan to buy a self-propelled forage chopper, and to justify it we’ll have to milk about that many more cows. You have to generate a certain amount of income to pay for the labor, machinery and everything it takes to run a dairy farm.”

One reason Matt’s hosting the Hay Expo again is because of the opportunity it gives dairy producers, or anyone interested in hay and forages, to learn about the latest information and technology, to help them improve efficiency.

A 10-acre exhibit field will highlight displays from the major and shortline specialty manufacturers, seed, building and storage facility suppliers, and a range of related product suppliers. Exhibitors plan to showcase a host of new products aimed at boosting the efficiency and profitability of hay and forage production.

More than 200 acres of alfalfa will showcase mowing, conditioning, baling and silage demonstrations. Visitors will see side-by-side operational comparisons of the various equipment brands in the field demonstrations.

Mark Your Calendar for the Show

The 2010 Farm Progress Hay Expo will be held June 16 and 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The show site is located off of Highway 3, west of Strawberry Point at the Matt and Jana Hamlett Farm. Admission is free; parking is $7 per vehicle. The public is welcome. For more information, visit www.HayExpo.com or call 866-264-7469.