March 30, 2021

• Spring-planted oats and Italian ryegrass are great options for early grazing.

• Ohio State University Extension offers these recommendations when selecting and seeding forage species this spring.

• Grass tetany needs to be on the radar for Northern cow-calf operators.

• Rock River Laboratory is opening a new licensed forage and feed testing lab in Edmonson, Texas.

• The April through June forecast for temperature and precipitation is warmer than normal for nearly all of the U.S. and a mixed bag for rainfall.

March 23, 2021

• Milk production in the U.S. during February totaled 17.6 billion pounds, down 1.5% from February 2020. However, production was 2% above last year after adjusting for the leap year.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market totaled 12 million head on March 1 (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more). The inventory was 2% above March 1. This is the second highest March 1 inventory since tracking began in 1996. Marketings of fed cattle during February totaled 1.73 million head, 2% below 2020.

• North Dakota State University provides this new, comprehensive bulletin on growing rye as a cover crop.

• Here are 10 good reminders from Ohio State University Extension on things to do and consider as you get ready to make new forage seedings.

• Drought has a grip on large portions of the United States. Here are some tips from Montana State University Extension on how to manage your beef herd should dry conditions persist.

March 15, 2021

• Fertilizer prices continue their steep assent. Since January 1, the retail price of potash has risen from an average of $359 to $419 per ton, as reported in the Illinois Production Cost Report.

• Other fertilizers are following suit. Dry urea has spiked from $367 per ton on January 1 to its current level of $487 per ton. Diammonium phosphate (DAP) has risen from $499 per ton at the beginning of the year to $639 per ton.

• Be ready for true armyworms in spring pastures.

• According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, tractor sales in 2021 are far outpacing levels from last year. During January and February, year-over-year sales of two-wheel drive tractors (40 to 100 horsepower) were up 22%, two-wheel drive tractors over 100 horsepower were up 31%, and four-wheel drive tractor purchases were up 15%.

• The Noble Research Institute offers this interesting article dispelling five myths people believe about roots.

March 9, 2021

• Exports of U.S. alfalfa hay during January totaled 162,482 metric tons (MT), which was down 9% compared to one year ago. In fact, every month in 2020 was above that level, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

• The only leading export partner importing more alfalfa in January than one year ago was China. Its import total of U.S. alfalfa was 65,409 MT. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) only imported 5,035 MT of U.S. alfalfa during January, which was low enough to knock that country out of the U.S.’s top five leading export partners list for the month. It was replaced by Taiwan.

• From 2019 to 2020, the number of licensed dairy farms in the U.S. fell by 7.5%, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. There was a total of 2,550 dairy farms that shuttered their doors in 2020, and less than half the number of dairy farms exist today compared to as recently as 2003.

• The University of Florida recently offered some tips for incorporating perennial peanut into Southern grazing systems.

• If winter wheat is being used as a dual-purpose crop, Kansas State University Extension reminds farmers to be sure to remove cattle from pastures when the first hollow stem appears.

March 2, 2021

• Year-over-year U.S. milk production was up 1.6% in January, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. This marked the eighth consecutive month that milk production was greater than the previous year, but January’s boost was somewhat lower than expected.

• Average annual milk production for the U.S. during 2020 was 223 billion pounds, which was 2.2% above 2019. From January 2020 to January 2021, milk cow numbers climbed by 85,000 head.

• The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) will host a forage seeding insurance program webinar on Monday, March 8 at 12 p.m. (CST). For many states, the deadline to apply for forage seeding insurance is March 15. To register for the free webinar, click here.

• Ohio State University Extension provides this informational video on “The do’s and don’ts of making high quality baleage.”

• Dealing with drought conditions is inevitable in many parts of the country. University of Nebraska Extension is offering a webinar series on planning for and managing during a drought. A presentation will be made each Tuesday evening during March.