July 28, 2020

• The number of cattle and calves in the U.S. on July 1 totaled 103 million head, according to USDA’s biannual Cattle report that was released last week. This number of cattle was only slightly higher than one year ago.

• Beef cows totaled 32.1 million head on July 1, which was down 1% from one year ago.

• Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter for all feedlots totaled 13.6 million head on July 1. The inventory was unchanged from a year ago. Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.97 million head, 1% above 2019.

• Milk production during June was up 0.5% compared to one year ago after falling 0.5% during the previous month. Milk cow numbers were up 1% at 9.35 million.

• Potato leafhoppers are doing a lot of damage this summer.

July 21, 2020

• Other than the Southeast, the current Drought Monitor is showing dry conditions in portions of all U.S. regions.

• The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) is funding research to evaluate European meadow fescue varieties. The research is being conducted by a research team from Cornell University.

• An extensive effort to test novel endophyte tall fescue varieties is being done at North Carolina State University.

• Here are some tips on how to completely renovate a horse pasture.

• Be sure to check in on the Silage for Beef Cattle Conference being sponsored by the University of Nebraska Extension, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The weekly webinars are free.

July 14, 2020

• The Noble Research Institute offers 11 forage cultivars that will grow well on the Great Plains.

• The World Forage Analysis Superbowl is still a “go” despite the cancellation of World Dairy Expo. The corn silage entry deadline has passed but there is still plenty of time for hay and haylage samples, which have an entry deadline of August 31. Over $26,000 worth of prize money is at stake.

• Ohio State University Extension Beef Specialist Steve Boyles discusses the impact of heat on ruminants, forages, and feed in this short video.

• Ever wonder how to differentiate pasture lameness in beef cattle? Here’s how.

• If you are thinking of planting alfalfa into bermudagrass, here are the answers to the questions you might have.

July 7, 2020

• Alfalfa and alfalfa-grass acres in the U.S. are expected to drop 2% from 2019, according to USDA’s Acreage report released last week. Big acreage declines were pegged for California (down 25% or 145,000 acres) and Wisconsin (down 16% or 140,000 acres).

• Acres of hay other than alfalfa (mostly grass) were estimated to be 1% fewer than 2019. Final hay acreage tallies won’t be available until after the growing season ends.

• For January through May, total U.S. world exports of alfalfa hay are up by 19%. The export total for May alone was up 25% at 280,318 metric tons (MT), according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. China is responsible for the big year-over-year gain. Through May, the Chinese have imported 89% more alfalfa in 2020 compared to tariff-riddled 2019.

• USDA’s Risk Management Agency reminds forage growers that the deadline for insuring fall forage seedings is July 31. This is a new forage insurance option for the 2021 crop year.

• The forage industry lost two extension forage “lifers” recently. Glenn Shewmaker, University of Idaho forage specialist, and Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska forage specialist, both retired at the end of June. We wish them the best in retirement and many more healthy years. Unfortunately, it appears that neither of their positions is scheduled to be refilled anytime soon.