December 26, 2018

• The second edition of “Fescue Toxicosis and Management” was recently completed, according to Craig Roberts, University of Missouri forage extension specialist.

• Milk production in the U.S. during November totaled 17.4 billion pounds, according to USDA’s Milk Production report released last week. This was a 0.6 percent jump from November 2017. Production per cow averaged 1,856 pounds for November, 19 pounds above one year ago.

• Although production numbers continue to be strong, the nation’s dairy herd is on the decline. The number of milk cows on U.S. farms in November was tallied at 9.36 million head, 38,000 less than November 2017, and 8,000 head less than October 2018.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. totaled 11.7 million head on December 1, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report released last week. The inventory was 2 percent above one year ago. Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.87 million head, 1 percent above 2017 and the highest for November since the tracking began in 1996.

• Specialists in North Dakota encourage producers to check oat hay for high-nitrate concentrations.

December 18, 2018

• We’re off and running with a new farm bill that passed the House of Representatives 369 to 47 last week. Per usual, not much new to report for hay producers, but dairy producers appeared to have made some support gains.

• The Noble Research Institute reports that genome editing will be a valuable tool for agriculture as we move forward.

• Texas A&M AgriLife research scientists have developed a growth model for winter wheat forage production based on environmental and management factors.

• It’s close to last call for the upcoming American Forage and Grassland Council’s Annual Conference, which will be held in St. Louis, Mo., on January 6 through 9.

• La Crosse Seed (La Crosse, Wis.) recently announced it has acquired the inventory and brands of Heritage Seed Company (Madison, Wis.).

December 11, 2018

• Total world alfalfa hay exports from the U.S. were up about 2 percent during October compared to 2017, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Japan imported the highest total at 48,667 metric tons (MT). Year-to-date through October, U.S. alfalfa hay exports to all trade partners were down 6 percent compared to last year.

• Alfalfa hay exports to China continued their downward spiral. The country imported 40,761 MT of U.S. alfalfa during October, down 47 percent from a year ago and their lowest monthly total since January 2014. Year-to-date through October, alfalfa hay exports to China are down 23 percent.

• China’s high-water mark for importing U.S. alfalfa hay came in August 2016 when the U.S. shipped 123,796 MT to that country. They nearly hit that total during two different months (March and April) in 2017.

• Saudi Arabia, after posting a record-high 62,341 MT of alfalfa hay imports from the U.S. in September, dropped back to 38,387 MT in October.

• Year-to-date alfalfa hay exports to Saudi Arabia are still up by 37 percent compared to 2017. The bump in exports to Saudi Arabia during 2018 accounts for about 48 percent of the reduced exports to China (through October).

• For hay other than alfalfa, world exports from the U.S. are down 14 percent in 2018. Exports to Japan through October are off by 6 percent and down 30 percent to Korea compared to 2017. Taiwan is up 6 percent.

December 4, 2018

• The 53,032 metric tons of alfalfa hay exported to China during September was the smallest monthly total in nearly three years.

• Corn silage hybrid performance data for 2018 is now available from New York/Vermont.

• Be sure to register for these two great grazing conferences in the Midwest: Grassworks in Wisconsin and Heart of America in Indiana.

• There is some evidence to suggest that a new blue aphid biotype may be present in Southern California alfalfa fields. This past year, insecticide applications were only marginally effective.

• The University of Kentucky provides this Beef Cow Forage Supplement Tool to help producers estimate forage intake and winter supplementation rates.