April 27, 2021
• The U.S. milk production pipeline continues to gush, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. Production was up 1.8% in March compared to the same time one year ago. The number of U.S. milking cows is at its highest point since 1995 and currently stands at 9.468 million head.
• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market in feedlots with a capacity of at least 1,000 head totaled 11.9 million head on April 1. The inventory was 5% above a year ago. Placements in feedlots during March totaled 2 million head, 28% above 2020.
• Be ready to identify and control poison hemlock.
• These options for spring turnout come from South Dakota State University.
• The University of California in Davis will offer their annual Small Grains-Alfalfa/Forages Field Day in a virtual format on May 12.
April 20, 2021
• One forage specialist’s encounter with bluestem broomsedge.
• California’s drought elevates the concern for high levels of nitrates in forages.
• Researchers at the University of Florida recently provided an update on their ongoing efforts to document grass endophytes and mycotoxins in perennial warm-season forages.
• Wildfires can have a profound impact on rangelands.
• Iowa State University Extension is offering a free Zoom webinar on “Harvesting the First Cutting Right: making the most of your alfalfa.” It will we held on April 21 from 12 to 1 p.m. CST.
April 13, 2021
• World exports of U.S. alfalfa hay during February were slightly below a year ago, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. China imported 101,081 metric tons (MT) of U.S. alfalfa hay, up over 25% from a year ago and accounting for 48% of all alfalfa hay exports during the month.
• Ohio State University Extension offers this quick rundown on spring weed control of winter weeds in hay and pasture.
• The USDA recently announced plans for a framework to guide conservation actions on working rangelands.
• The University of Missouri is evaluating the use of a double stocker system on tall fescue pastures.
• North Dakota State University provides guidance for selecting the best annual forages during a drought.
April 6, 2021
• Harvested hay acres in the U.S. during 2021 are projected to total 51.7 million, according to USDA’s March Prospective Plantings report. That total is 1% lower than 2020.
• Corn planted for all purposes in 2021 is estimated at 91.1 million acres, up less than 1% from last year. This was much less of an acreage bump than expected by experts, and the same could be said for soybeans. Look for energy and protein prices to remain high for at least the short run.
• Fertilizer prices continue to soar.
• The University of Kentucky Extension plans to host two fencing schools during May.
• Alfalfa held its place as the nation’s third most valuable field crop.