January 26, 2021
• Here are some answers to those frequently asked questions about seeding alfalfa into bermudagrass.
• Chinese dairies are putting more of a focus on importing high-testing U.S. alfalfa, according to The Hoyt Report. In the past, their preference was for “clean and green” hay, with less importance put on the forage quality test.
• Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. (feedlots of 1,000 or more head) totaled 12 million head on January 1, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. The inventory was slightly above January 1, 2020. Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.85 million head, 1% above 2019. Marketings were the second highest for January since tracking began in 1996.
• Here are some tips for improving horse pastures during the coming year.
• Plan now to “attend” the virtual 2021 Midwest Forage Association Symposium, which will be held February 16 and 17. You’ll find a great lineup of speakers and topics.
January 19, 2021
• USDA’s final U.S. corn estimate for the 2020 growing season pegs the average corn yield at 172 bushels per acre, which is 4.5 bushels above 2019. Total production settled at 14.2 billion bushels. Despite the hefty production, corn grain prices currently are at their highest level since 2014.
• The production of sorghum silage in the U.S. dropped by 22% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This drop was despite a higher average yield (13.1 tons per acre), as acreage was down 29%. Texas easily leads the nation in the amount of sorghum silage harvested (100,000 acres).
• In 2020, only about one-third of the U.S. oat acres planted (almost 3 million acres) actually got harvested for grain. This means that about two-thirds of the oat acreage planted is either destroyed (cover crop) or harvested as a forage.
• According to this NRCS state grazing specialist, it’s all about maximizing the grazing season.
• Penn State University will be offering a series of forage management webinars during March. Click here for more information.
January 12, 2021
• Exports of alfalfa hay during November to all trade partners were the lowest for that month since 2015, totaling 189,165 metric tons (MT). Through November, 2020 alfalfa hay exports remained slightly ahead of 2019.
• China topped all trade partners by importing 87,524 MT of U.S. alfalfa hay during November. That total was slightly below a year ago, but alfalfa hay exports to China remained 48% ahead of 2019 through November.
• Vermeer Corporation will begin celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first round baler that was introduced to the market by the company’s founder, Gary Vermeer, in 1971.
• Based on the most recent Drought Monitor map, about 46% of the U.S. is experiencing moderate drought or worse.
• There are a number of forage educational programs being held over the next few weeks. Most of these are virtual, and some are being offered without cost.
January 5, 2021
• The California Department of Water Resources found 10.5 inches of snow water equivalent in its first Sierra Nevada snow pack survey of the year. That total is 93% of the historical average for the Phillips station. “This is good news given that the fall was one of the driest on record for Central California,” notes Josh Callen in The Hoyt Report.
• Check out these management considerations for warm-season grasses from the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team.
• The registration period is now open for a virtual novel tall fescue renovation workshop being held over three evenings on February 23 to 25.
• Tractor sales were strong during much of 2020. According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, tractor sales in all categories were higher than 2019 through November. Sales of four-wheel drive tractors were up 4.7%, and purchases of two-wheel drive tractors in the 40 to 100 horsepower category were nearly 12% higher.