July 26, 2016

• According to a news release sent by Forage Genetics International (FGI), Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business on September 1. NEXGROW is a part of FGI and the name of the alfalfa seed will remain NEXGROW. The portfolio of varieties offered will stay the same.

• Monsanto has turned down the latest $64 billion acquisition offer from Bayer AG. The company indicated that talks will continue with Bayer, a German healthcare and chemicals corporation, as well as other parties.

According to USDA’s latest Cattle on Feed report, cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head) totaled 10.4 million head on July 1. The inventory was 1 percent above July 1, 2015. The inventory included 6.87 million steers and steer calves, down 1 percent from the previous year.

Milk production in the 23 major states during June totaled 16.7 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent from June 2015, according to last week’s Milk Production report from USDA. The average number of milk cows in the United States during the quarter was 9.33 million head, 8,000 head more than the previous quarter and 6,000 head more than the same period last year.

W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “Herein lies the superior wisdom of animal farming, for it goes a long way, though not quite far enough, to restore completely the full productive power of the land. If every farmer would place before him this standard of thought and practice: ‘In all my farming, my first concern shall be to keep up the productive power of my land,’ we would have larger crops, greater prosperity for the farmer, and constant and well-stored fertility in our farms.”

July 19, 2016

· Fifty-six percent of U.S. pasture and range is rated in Excellent or Good condition as of July 18, according to USDA’s Crop Progress report. This compares to 63 percent in those same two categories at the same point in 2015.

· Surprisingly, some of the worst pasture and range conditions exist in the Northeast. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont all have over 40 percent of their pastures rated Very Poor or Poor with none in the Excellent category.

· As reported at the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference held last week in Madison, Wis., the new Alfalfa Checkoff Program will not begin until January 2017. Seed purchased from participating companies in the last half of 2016 will not have the $1 checkoff per bag assessed as was originally planned.

· Mike Casler, a grass breeder with USDA-ARS in Madison, is inching closer to releasing a nonflowering orchardgrass variety.

· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “The difficulty is not in the land, it is not in the climate, but in ourselves.”

July 12, 2016

· USDA’s Acreage report that estimated alfalfa hay acres were higher this year than in 2015 is not being met with a lot of believers. We’ll likely know more by the end of the year.

· This year’s California Alfalfa & Forage Symposium is slated for November 29 through December 1 in Reno, Nev. Check out the website at http://calhay.org/symposium/.

· We’re hearing multiple reports that sugarcane aphid and bermudagrass stem maggot are wreaking havoc in the South. These two pests are becoming as much a part of summer as sweet tea.

· The latest report from the World Agricultural Outlook Board now has 14 percent of the U.S. hay acreage under drought conditions. Pockets of drought now stretch from California to Maine.

· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “When dairymen get right down to bottom facts they will find a silo, with a supply of well-cured silage in it for cow feed in the hot, dry weather of summer, a paying investment. I had 30 tons of silage left last spring, which I fed this summer and now have no doubt about its value as a summer feed.”

July 5, 2016

· USDA forecasted 2016 harvested acres of all hay at 56.1 million in their Acreage report released last week. This was up from the 54.4 million acres harvested in 2015 and slightly higher than their projection from last March.

· In the same report, harvested alfalfa hay acres were estimated at 18.1 million, up from the 17.8 million acres harvested in 2015.

· In the GMO labeling bill passed by the U.S. Senate, food products derived from an animal that may have eaten bioengineered grain and forage crops do not have to be labeled as containing GMOs.

· The new rules for flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) seem to be getting good reviews in agricultural circles. The White House release cites agriculture as a major beneficiary of drone use.

· W.D. Hoard said it over 100 years ago: “I have dug down 12 feet and found alfalfa roots; 12 feet is the deepest I went down with alfalfa 3 and 4 years old. I saw an alfalfa root suspended from a cupola in Denver that they said was 100 years old, and those roots were 34 feet long.”

View June 2016 Hay Pellets