May 26, 2020

• Milk production in the U.S. during April totaled 18.7 billion pounds, up 1.4% from a year ago but down 3.4% from the previous month. The number of milk cows on farms was 9.38 million head, 49,000 head more than April 2019, but 4,000 head less than March 2020.

• As we approach June, here’s a video reminder from Oklahoma State’s Glenn Selk on storing large round bales.

• According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, sales of two-wheel drive smaller tractors (under 40 horsepower [HP]) are even with last year through April. Sales of tractors that are 40 to 100 HP are down 3% while the sales of two-wheel drive 100-plus HP tractors are down 4%. Four-wheel drive tractor sales are down 7%.

• Based on the three-month weather outlook from the National Weather Service, it looks like a warm, wet summer for the eastern U.S. The western U.S. looks to be in for hot and dry to normal precipitation through July.

• How much forage are you leaving behind in harvest losses? Here’s some good advice from Penn State Extension.

May 19, 2020

• It’s a really good idea to keep this weed under control.

South Dakota State University specialists remind growers that the current ethanol downturn may be cause for a change in protein supplementation strategies with grazing cattle.

• The University of Tennessee’s Gary Bates offers these tips for successful haylage/baleage production.

• Alfalfa weevil presence is being reported in many states. Here’s a review from the University of Nebraska.

• According to USDA’s most recent Crop Progress report, 80% of the U.S. corn crop is planted. This compares to 44% at the same time one year ago and a past five-year average of 71%.

May 12, 2020

• USDA’s Risk Management Agency has announced changes and improvements to forage seeding and forage production crop insurance options for the 2021 growing season.

• Included in the crop insurance changes are the addition of 186 counties that will be eligible for forage seeding insurance and loss-adjustment procedures that will rely upon the number of live alfalfa stems rather than the number of live plants in stands that contain at least 60% alfalfa.

• March was a huge month for alfalfa exports, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The 257,363 metric tons (MT) of U.S. alfalfa exported was the second largest monthly export total in the past three years, following only October 2019.

• China imported just over 100,000 MT of U.S. alfalfa in March. This marked their highest monthly total in 2020. Except for the United Arab Emirates, all other major U.S. alfalfa hay trade partners also set 2020 high-water marks in March.

• University of Missouri specialists discussed the benefits of removing tall fescue seedheads before they emerge.

May 5, 2020

• University of Florida Extension recently provided this video showing some of their research efforts for incorporating legumes into bahiagrass pastures.

Burning native prairies during the growing season can improve forage quality during the dormant season, according to researchers at the Noble Research Institute.

• Milk production increased 0.4% in 2019 to 218 billion pounds, according to USDA’s Milk Production, Disposition, and Income Annual Summary report. Production per cow, at 23,391 pounds, was 241 pounds above 2018. The annual average number of milk cows on farms was 9.34 million head, down 62,000 head from 2018.

• Cash receipts from marketings of milk during 2019 totaled $40.5 billion, 14.9% higher than 2018. Producer returns averaged $18.63 per hundredweight, 14.4% above 2018. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has brought that momentum to a grinding halt.

• Auburn University is offering an “Alfalfa in the South” virtual roundtable on May 13 at 1:00 p.m. CST. Preregistration is required and can be done here.