August 25, 2020

• The dairy industry’s ability to hold down milk output didn’t last too long. Milk production in the U.S. during July totaled 18.6 billion pounds, up 1.5% from July 2019. Production per cow averaged 1,994 pounds, 21 pounds above one year ago. The number of milk cows on farms totaled 9.35 million head, 37,000 head more than July 2019, and 2,000 head more than June 2020.

• The Alliance for Grassland Renewal notes that new-crop novel endophyte tall fescue seed will reach dealers in early September. They also explain why.

• With lots of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres released for haying and grazing in drought-stricken counties, Iowa State University Extension offers some tips on utilizing this additional forage resource.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more) totaled 11.3 million head on August 1. The inventory was 2% above the previous year. This is the highest August 1 inventory since USDA began tracking in 1996. Placements in feedlots during July totaled 1.89 million head, 11% above 2019.

• This Penn State University extension soils specialist says that planting cover crops following a corn silage harvest is a non-negotiable practice.

August 18, 2020

• Oklahoma State University Extension is sponsoring a series of free alfalfa-focused lunchtime seminars for beef producers that started last week and will continue each Thursday through September 10. For a program brochure, click here.

• Corn production in the U.S. is being pegged at a record high 15.3 billion bushels, according to USDA’s August Crop Production report. That comes with an average yield of 181.8 bushels per acre, also a record high.

• Most experts don’t expect the extensive crop damage in Iowa caused by the derecho storms will significantly impact the U.S. total grain output. Localized problems in the storm-ravaged areas will include grain storage during harvest, as many grain bins and handling facilities were severely damaged.

• The Southeast Hay Contest awards program will be held at the American Forage and Grassland Council’s conference in Savannah, Ga., on January 4, 2021. The venue needed to be moved following the cancellation of the Sunbelt Ag Expo due to coronavirus concerns. All entries must still be received by September 1.

• A new drought monitor map was released last Thursday, and it doesn’t look good for many areas in the West.

August 11, 2020

• World alfalfa hay exports from the U.S. totaled 18% more tons during the first half of this year compared to a tariff-riddled 2019. Through June 2020, 1.45 million metric tons (MT) were purchased by our trade partners. China’s alfalfa hay purchases were up 87% over 2019 during the first half of the year.

• During June, world alfalfa hay exports were up about 12% compared to last year. China led all trade partners with the purchase of 98,642 MT, up 80% from one year ago. Both Japan and Saudi Arabia were down slightly in their U.S. alfalfa hay buying compared to June 2019.

• A soils specialist from Kansas State University offers some tips on liming fields prior to fall seeding alfalfa.

• Researchers at the Noble Research Institute are looking to improve the leaf texture and palatability of tall fescue.

• According to USDA, farm real estate values in the U.S. held steady in 2020, averaging $3,160 per acre. Cropland averaged $4,100 per acre while pasture acres averaged $1,400 per acre. Farm real estate values for specific states can be found here.

August 4, 2020

• The Sunbelt Ag Expo is pulling the plug on a live event this fall, but the Southeastern Hay Contest will still be held in some alternative format. Forage samples must be submitted by September 1.

• Bayer recently announced that Rezilon (indaziflam) herbicide was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for controlling summer and winter annual broadleaf weeds and grasses in pastures and hayfields, nonirrigated ditch banks, fire breaks, and any sites managed for hay.

• Here’s a detailed discussion from the University of Nebraska on how to estimate a fair value for standing forage.

• South Dakota State University offers some thoughts on how to be safe and smart when working around silage.

• This University of Minnesota extension educator reminds us to double check these forage equipment settings.