March 28, 2023

• Milk production in the U.S. during February totaled 17.7 billion pounds, which was up 0.8% from a year ago. Production per cow averaged 1,877 pounds in February, 7 pounds above February 2022.

• The national dairy herd totaled 9.42 million head in February, 37,000 head more than the previous year and 12,000 head more than January 2023. Milk prices are expected to slump in the first half of 2023.

• Here’s some tips on establishing bermudagrass.

• Forage management is just chemistry.

• There are several options to renovate pastures following drought damage.

March 21, 2023

• Fewer beef cattle in the pipeline were reflected in USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report. Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on March 1. The inventory was 4% below a year ago. Placements in feedlots during February totaled 1.73 million head, which was 7% below 2022.

• Red clover extract improved feed intake of sheep consuming toxic tall fescue.

• Applying Chaparral herbicide to toxic tall fescue pasture drastically reduced seedhead development in this North Carolina State University study.

• Penn State University offers some considerations for winter-inured alfalfa.

Cheap hay isn’t always cheap.

March 14, 2023

• The hay export market has been sluggish to start the year due to a strong U.S. dollar and high-priced hay. Alfalfa hay exports during January totaled 142,959 metric tons (MT), according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That total was down 29% from 2022. Grass hay exports were 34% below the previous year for January.

• China imported 77,688 MT of alfalfa hay during January, which was 29% fewer MT than last year. Japan’s volume was down 53% for the month while Saudi Arabia was up 93%.

• Pasture strategies need to be stepped up with more extreme rainfall patterns.

• Alfalfa fungicide seed treatments offered good value in this Kentucky research trial.

• The average retail price for potash (0-0-60/62) was $637 per ton in the most recent Illinois Production Cost Report. One year ago, the retail price was $827 per ton in the same report.

March 7, 2023

• Where drought occurred last summer, range ecologists are recommending delayed turn out to give the grass a chance to recover.

• For Northern locations, March is frost-seeding month.

• Last year’s corn silage may be feeding a bit differently. Learn why in this podcast.

• This new Excel-based tool helps dairy farmers assess if heifer grazing is a profitable venture.

• Ask these three questions before you grow cover crops.