April 28, 2020
• Don’t be concerned if your bermudagrass fields look a little purple, says John Jennings from the University of Arkansas. “It’s a response to colder temperatures after plant growth was initiated,” the forage specialist notes. “Plants will grow out of this condition after a return to warmer temperatures.”
• As some dairy farms are being forced to reduce milk output, that begs the question as to the best methods for putting on the brakes. A special Hoard’s Dairyman DairyLivestream broadcast to discuss various milk-reducing options will be held Wednesday, April 29 at 11 a.m. (CDT). Follow this link for more information.
• Year-over-year U.S. milk production was up 2.2% during March as both cow numbers and production per cow continue to exceed last year’s levels.
• Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. (feedlots with capacity for at least 1,000 head) totaled 11.3 million head on April 1. The inventory was 5% below a year ago. Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 2.01 million head, 13% above 2019.
• Almond tree acres in California continue to rise. The California Department of Food and Agriculture pegged 2019 almond acreage at 1.53 million, according to the Hoyt Report. That was 10.1% more than in 2018. At the same time, alfalfa acres in the Golden State continue to drop and are now below 700,000.
April 21, 2020
• Keep your kids safe. According to this recently released fact sheet from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, about 60% of household youth were not working when they were injured in agriculture.
• The same report notes that a child dies about every three days in an agriculture-related accident. Each day, 33 children are seriously injured on farms.
• Researchers in northern New York are having success establishing biocontrol nematode populations in fields through liquid manure applications. The biocontrol nematodes are being used to control alfalfa snout beetle larvae.
• Here is what’s required to achieve a successful corn stand.
• Mississippi State’s Rocky Lemus notes that farmers in the Southeast need to get the most out of their perennial pastures this summer.
• Be on the lookout for poison hemlock in fence rows and pastures.
April 14, 2020• University of California Extension specialists note that the blue alfalfa aphid is back with a vengeance.• The current three-month prediction models from the National Weather Service show almost all of the U.S. being warmer than normal. The eastern half of the country is expected to be wetter than normal, with Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky taking the brunt of the moisture.• Mississippi State University is offering two upcoming forage webinars on nutrient management for forage production and using summer annual forages.• Krone has opened their new North American headquarters and parts distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., a suburb of Memphis, Tenn.
• University of Nebraska specialists are seeking to provide a means for evaluating rangeland health.
April 7, 2020
• Harvested hay acres in the U.S. are projected to be up 2% this year compared to 2019, according to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report released last week. The forecast was set at 53.3 million acres, which contrasts to 52.4 million last year.
• Only 13 of the 49 reporting states are forecasted for acreage declines in 2020. California hay acres are expected to drop another 9% in what is turning into a long-term free fall. Many Midwest states are expected to boost hay acreage in 2020 with Kansas and Iowa both being up 18%.
• Corn acres for all purposes in 2020 is estimated at 97 million acres, up 8% or 7.3 million acres from last year.
• Alfalfa hay exports during February were up 13% compared to one year ago, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Marketing Service.
• China imported 80,683 metric tons (MT) of U.S. alfalfa, up 67% from last year’s February total, which was in the heat of the trade war. Apparently, the impact of the coronavirus is not as great. Alfalfa shipments to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have dropped off the table, totaling only 15,931 MT in February. That’s down 45% from February 2020.