December 10, 2019

• If you haven’t heard, NASS is planning to stop the collection of county-level hay production data due to budget constraints. This would be a blow to the hay industry. The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) is encouraging growers and others in the industry to voice your opposition. NAFA has created a website where this can easily be done. Comments must be made by December 16.

• A shocker: China imported 128,582 metric tons (MT) of U.S. alfalfa during October, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That beat the country’s previous record of 123,796 MT in August 2016, and is clearly a direct result of the temporary lifting of retaliatory tariffs on alfalfa. For comparison, China imported only 38,178 MT of U.S. alfalfa in October 2018.

• Total U.S. alfalfa exports for January through October are now running 7 percent ahead of 2018.

• Here’s the year-to-date (January through October) scorecard on U.S. alfalfa exports with our top five trade partners compared to last year: China (down 8 percent), Japan (up 18 percent), Saudi Arabia (down 5 percent), United Arab Emirates (up 40 percent), and South Korea (up 13 percent).

• Vermeer Corporation (Pella, Iowa) recently announced it has purchased Schuler Manufacturing based in Griswold, Iowa. Schuler manufactures a complete line of TMR mixers and feed wagons. Both companies are family-owned.

December 3, 2019

• The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) recently announced the release of their 2020 “Alfalfa Variety Ratings” bulletin, which provides extensive information on all marketed alfalfa varieties. A copy of the bulletin is printed in the November issue of Hay & Forage Grower or it is available online here.

• Here’s some things to keep in mind if you plan to graze soybean stubble.

• RCI, a machinery engineering firm based in Mayville, Wis., recently announced their purchase of Ag-Bag (St. Nazianz, Wis.) from CNH Industrial America.

• Texas A&M AgriLife Extension tells us that cool-season weeds can be just as detrimental as their warm-season counterparts.

• When buying hay, consider both quality and value.