December 27, 2016
· USDA reports that U.S. milk production totaled 17.1 billion pounds in November. This was 2.4 percent higher than one year ago, but down from the 17.6 billion pounds produced in October 2016.
· The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.34 million head, 17,000 head more than November 2015, and 4,000 head more than October 2016.
· In the latest Illinois Production Cost Report, the average retail dry urea price was $327 per ton, up $22.14 from two weeks earlier. Potash was reported at $311.50, up $2.17, while diammonium phosphate (DAP) checked in at $417.64, down $9.31 per ton.
· Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. totaled 10.7 million head on December 1, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. This was 1 percent below a year ago and just slightly lower than November 1, 2016.
· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “Preservation of soil fertility must be the first object of all truly profitable farming. Let every farmer look over his farm methods carefully and measure them by that question.”
December 20, 2016
· La Niña officially arrived on November 10 and will likely impact U.S. weather through winter, though it is considered weak. Forecasters say the climate phenomena will likely contribute to drier and warmer weather in the southern U.S. and wetter, cooler conditions in the Pacific Northwest and across the north central states this winter.
· In a three-year grazing trial in eastern Nebraska, winter wheat, rye, and triticale were seeded following soybean harvest and evaluated for spring grazing value. The crops provided 17 to 38 days of spring grazing per acre, and triticale produced 19 percent and 57 percent more steer body weight gain than wheat and rye, respectively.
· Through November, year-to-date sales of two-wheel-drive tractors over 100 horsepower and four-wheel-drive tractors were down about 23 percent from 2015, according to the Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers Association.
· Registration is now open for the Midwest Forage Association and Wisconsin Custom Operators Symposium that will be held January 24 to 25 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “When fall comes, be sure that there is a growth of at least 10 inches to a foot high, and let that alfalfa go into the winter with that growth; it will serve as a mulch, prevent the sun from thawing it out, and freezing.”
December 13, 2016
· Thirteen percent of U.S. alfalfa acres harvested in 2013 was from fields seeded to genetically engineered Roundup Ready varieties. This was according to a new USDA-Economic Research Service study released in November.
· In the same study, New York had the highest percent of harvested acres that were Roundup Ready at 37.2. The next highest states were Washington (30 percent), Colorado (28.5 percent), and Kansas (22.4 percent).
· States with the lowest percent of genetically engineered alfalfa in 2013 included Montana (0.1 percent), Nebraska (5.1 percent), Iowa (5.6 percent), and Utah (6.3 percent).
· Keep abreast of the many forage educational meetings and conferences coming up over the next couple months. Registration is now open for many of these events.
· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “If you have a good cow and she will pay for what feed she takes, sell it to her. Sell her all she will pay for. Then investigate, not guess. Keep a record to know whether she is paying or not.”
December 6, 2016
· A legislative bill (AB 2504) is being proposed and discussed in California that would require an assessment of not more than 10 cents per pound on alfalfa seed sold in that state. Collected funds would be used to help support alfalfa research. California Farm Bureau and the California Alfalfa & Forage Association were involved in drafting the proposed bill.
· The California proposal comes on the heels of a voluntary alfalfa seed checkoff program (U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative) that is being administered by the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) and begins on January 1, 2017.
· NAFA is looking for your input on priorities for the first round of research proposals to be funded with the checkoff dollars. You can cast your votes here.
· China expects to drop from 8 to 7 million dairy cows during the 2016 calendar year. Low milk prices are the prime culprit with smaller dairies going out of business and heavy culling on larger dairies.
· Minnesota unveils its corn hybrid silage performance results.
· Mark your calendar for the 2017 Southwest Hay Conference being held January 11 to 13 in Ruidoso, N.M.