August 14, 2018

• Alfalfa hay production in 2018 is forecasted to be up 5 percent from last year, according to USDA’s August Crop Production report released last week. The projection is based on early acreage estimates and will likely change once end-of-year numbers are tabulated.

• Alfalfa hay exports in June were actually up over the previous month, but that may be the calm before the storm as Chinese tariffs didn’t take effect until July 6. China imported 88,110 metric tons (MT) of U.S. alfalfa during June, which was up slightly from May but down 20 percent from the previous year.

• The big export surprise in June was Saudi Arabia. They imported 57,296 MT of alfalfa. That was 45 percent above their May total and 75 percent more than one year ago. It was also above Japan’s June total of 49,080 MT, making Saudi Arabia the second largest importer of U.S. alfalfa during June.

• Forage growers are encouraged to submit samples for the 2018 World Forage Analysis Superbowl before the final entry deadline of Thursday, August 30. Contest categories with this deadline include baleage, commercial hay, dairy hay, grass hay, and haylage. A total of $22,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to high-placing participants during World Dairy Expo.

• Tillerman Seeds LLC, a holding company based in Greenville, Mich., announced it has acquired the assets and real estate of Legacy Seeds Inc., a Scandinavia, Wis.-based producer of alfalfa, corn, wheat, and soybean seeds, as well as cover crops. Legacy Seeds, which has their own alfalfa breeding program, will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity and current employees will keep their jobs.

August 7, 2018

• The 2018 average value of cropland in the U.S. rose 1 percent from last year to $4,130 per acre, according to USDA’s Agricultural Land Values report released last week. The largest percentage jump occurred in the Southern Plains where prices rose 4.7 percent. The Pacific States boast the highest valued cropland at $6,780 per acre. The Corn Belt states were close behind at $6,710 per acre.

• Average pastureland value in the U.S. jumped 3 percent in 2018 to $1,390 per acre. The Southeast states had the highest pastureland value at $3,990 per acre, buoyed largely by Florida’s $5,200 per acre value.

• Researchers at the Noble Research Institute are working to breed a drought-tolerant tall fescue.

• The Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council will sponsor a hay show at that state’s Ag Progress Days. The deadline for sample delivery is 10 a.m. on August 14 at the event.

• In what was the most ironic news story of the week, some vanilla almond milk is being recalled because it contains . . . well . . . milk.