January 22, 2019

• At this year’s American Forage and Grassland Council’s annual meeting, the Distinguished Grasslander Award was given posthumously to David Fiske, a long-time research farm superintendent at Virginia Tech University. The Medallion Award was given to Geoff Brink, recently retired research scientist at USDA’s Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis.

• China recently approved for import five genetically modified crop traits for corn, soybean, and canola. Though alfalfa’s Roundup Ready and HarvXtra traits are still not approved, perhaps the recent policy change is a small step in that direction. But then again, history tells us that making predictions about China’s political regulatory policies does not provide solid footing.

• According to The Hoyt Report, there is a dire shortage of feeder hay in Idaho. In response, the Idaho Transportation Department has issued temporary extra length/excess weight permits for the transport of round hay bales from Montana into Idaho.

• Here are a few New Year’s resolutions for cow-calf producers from South Dakota State University.

• Better late than never: According to a recent news release from La Crosse Seed (La Crosse, Wis.), the company recently discovered that it was started in 1919, not the previously thought 1947 formation time frame. As such, it will celebrate 100 years this year.

January 15, 2019

• The Association of Equipment Manufacturers recently reported that sales of farm tractors in 2018 were up 6.9 percent compared to the previous year. Purchases of four-wheel drive farm tractors accounted for largest percentage year-over-year gains with a 12.9 percent boost in sales.

• If you’ve been wondering why updated U.S. hay export data hasn’t been reported of late, that, too, has been impacted by the government shutdown.

• China and the U.S. are at least talking in an attempt to resolve the current trade riff between the two countries. Economies in both countries have been wounded by the situation. Additional tariffs are scheduled to be imposed on March 2 if no deal is reached by that point.

• The U.S. Custom Harvesters will convene in Amarillo, Texas, on January 31 through February 2 this year for their annual convention.

• The Heart of America Grazing Conference will be held in Ferdinand, Ind., on January 22 and 23. This will be followed by the GrassWorks Grazing Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., from January 31 through February 2.

January 8, 2019

• It’s now official: The important end-of-year USDA crop production and stock reports will be delayed past their previously scheduled January 11 release date. This, of course, is because of the government shutdown that lingers on like a bad cold.

• There may be good reasons to “sheep off” alfalfa, according to University of California-Davis extension specialists.

• Novel tall fescue renovation workshops will be held in six different states across the Fescue Belt during March. For detailed information on the programs, locations, and how to register, click here.

• The Climate Prediction Center reports that El Niño has a 90 percent chance to form and continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter and a 60 percent chance it will continue through spring.

• An El Niño event generally translates to warmer than normal temperatures in the western U.S., Northern Plains, and Upper Midwest. Above normal precipitation is expected in the South.

January 2, 2019

• A North Dakota State University specialist says that wheat straw can be an effective roughage this winter to supplement cows on high-quality hay diets.

• This year’s Appalachian Grazing Conference will be held March 7 to 9 in Morgantown, W.Va.

• One of USDA’s functions that is being impacted by the lapse in federal funding is the issuance of reports from the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

• This year’s high yield in the National Corn Growers Association Contest was 477 bushels per acre, which belonged to Don Stall of Charlotte, Mich. Stall was entered in the Irrigated Corn division.

• It was a bad day for this Missouri farmer who was fraudulently selling organic grain.