Use FeedList to buy or sell needed feeds

News
Feb 13, 2009

Use FeedList to buy or sell needed feeds

Higher-quality forages always are in greater demand in the spring, but inventories are running short, warns J.W. Schroeder, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service dairy cattle specialist.

NDSU’s FeedList Web site—http://www.ag.ndsu. edu/feedlist/—may be able to help. It’s a place producers can go to find feedstuffs for sale. It’s also a place for feedstuff sellers to market their supplies.

Farmers and ranchers are scrambling to meet their spring forage needs for a number of reasons: the brutal farm economy, declining market prices for farm products, a shortage of forages due to 2008 weather-related challenges, higher consumption of existing feed supplies to combat extreme cold, and snowbound fields limiting access to harvested hay still on the field.

“While fall allows you to make a projection if feed resources will be adequate, there is no one best time to do an inventory,” Schroeder says. “Rather, doing an inventory now will be beneficial. Surveying feed supplies in February allows you to make a midcourse correction and estimates of quantity stored are probably more accurate.”

FeedList, formerly called Haylist, started as a clearinghouse for state and regional producers to market hay and was available only at county Extension offices. With the availability of the Internet, FeedList became a Web site that allows buyers and sellers who have or need feedstuffs (hay, pasture, corn, etc.) to post their entries at no charge. In addition, it has expanded to include listings for truckers and feedlots.

Feedstuff sellers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wyoming and Canada have posted to the list. “Unfortunately, the list is quite bare,” Schroeder says. “I would like to encourage any and all producers of hay to add to the list.” North Dakotans who want to purchase feedstuffs or have some to sell should contact their county Extension office. Out-ofstate users can fill out an online form. Their entries will be added to the list as soon as possible.

“FeedList will not price your hay; that is between you and the buyer,” Schroeder says. Here are some guidelines to consider when setting a price:

- The buyer’s real interests: What kind of hay does the buyer want? What type of animal is the individual feeding? Is the hay quality determined by forage analysis, leafiness or some other method? Is the presence of grass desired or not? Are other traits, such as color, small bales or lack of dust, important?

- Pricing terms: What is the point of sale? Is the price at your barn or stack, loaded on the buyer’s truck, delivered on your truck or something else? Will you accept a counteroffer?

- Tonnage to be purchased: What is the contracted amount? Is all hay to be delivered at one time or during some period of time?

- Effective date of price: How long is the price good for—one month, one week?

- Payment terms: What are the payment terms— payment on delivery, one month after delivery, something else? What payment type do you want—cash, cashier’s check, etc?

- Considerations if you are delivering: What is the access to the site where the hay will be stored; can your truck get there? Are you expected to unload and stack or provide other delivery services? How much help will the buyer provide? When will the buyer be present (to help, provide access or pay)?

- Follow up with your customers: Call the buyer after delivery and ask how your product is being accepted. Is there any room for improvement?

- “These considerations may be the difference between a single sale and several years of business,” Schroeder says. “If a customer is satisfied and you have more hay to sell, ask if the customer knows of other potential buyers.” — WLJ

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