July 25, 2017
· The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) reports that they received 34 research proposals to be evaluated for funding by the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative (alfalfa checkoff). The program is in its first year of operation. An NAFA board-appointed review panel will now review, score, and discuss proposals to determine which will receive approval for the initial round of funding.
· All cattle and calves in the U.S. totaled 103 million head, according to last week’s USDA Cattle report. That number is 4 percent more than July 2015. Beef cows, at 32.5 million head, are up 7 percent from two years ago, while milk cows, at 9.40 million head, are up 1 percent.
· Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 12.8 million head as of July 1; this is 6 percent more than the July 2015 total of 12.1 million head.
· U.S. milk production in June was up 1.6 percent from a year ago, based on USDA’s Milk Production report. California was down by 2.1 percent while Texas had the largest gain with 15 percent more milk than June 2016.
· The August 1 deadline to submit corn silage entries for the World Forage Analysis Superbowl is fast approaching. All other entries are due by September 7.
July 18, 2017
· Another tragic silage face collapse recently occurred in Colorado. It only takes a split second, and this is another somber reminder to stay back from the silage face.
· May exports of U.S. alfalfa hay to China totaled 116,679 metric tons (MT), according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This was down 4.8 percent from the previous month but still 31 percent higher than May 2016.
· Japan imported 53,693 MT of U.S. alfalfa in May and continues to be a far-off second place but consistent alfalfa trade partner.
· The University of Minnesota will host a free “Managing Ash Content in Hay” webinar on August 23 at 12 p.m. CST. For more information, click here.
· According to a report from University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey, potash fertilizer prices have fallen 62 percent since 2009, from $847 to $318 per ton.
· Some good advice on plant tissue testing.
July 11, 2017
· Timothy is a hot commodity right now. Export prices for timothy hay are up over $100 per ton compared to last year, according to The Hoyt Report.
· North Dakota State University has expanded their online FeedList to include those wishing to donate hay to drought-plagued farmers and ranchers in that state.
· As a response to mounting spray drift complaints, both Arkansas and Missouri have placed a temporary ban on the use and sale of products containing dicamba. In the case of Arkansas, an exemption was made for forage crops and pastures.
· Pasture condition for the U.S. was reported as 57 percent Good or Excellent in last week’s Crop Progress report. Fifteen percent of pasture acres fell into the Poor or Very Poor categories.
· Not surprisingly, pastures in North and South Dakota are in the worst shape. Reporters in both states categorize over half of their pasture acres in Very Poor or Poor condition.
July 4, 2017
· A bit surprising: The USDA June Acreage report forecasts a 1.3 percent rise in U.S. alfalfa acres for 2017. All-hay acres rise by only 0.1 percent.
· USDA now estimates that corn planted for all purposes in 2017 will be 90.9 million acres, down 3 percent from last year. The area harvested for grain, at 83.5 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year.
· California may become the first state to require a warning label on products containing glyphosate that will indicate the chemical is a known cancer-causing compound. Glyphosate will appear on the state’s list of potentially cancerous chemicals. Monsanto, the producer of Roundup herbicide, has filed an appeal to block the labeling.
· Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota in response to severe drought conditions.
· S&W Seed has named Mark Wong their new CEO.