June 26, 2018

• China slapped a 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. alfalfa in response to President Donald Trump's imposed tariffs on some Chinese goods. The alfalfa tariff is set to begin on July 6 and, if long lasting, will likely have a significant impact on the volume of alfalfa shipped to China, our most active buyer.

• After a decline in April, U.S. milk production climbed back to 19.1 billion pounds in May, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. That volume was 0.8 percent higher than one year ago and the largest total of any month to date in 2018 or during 2017.

• Year-over-year milk production in May was up 1.1 percent in Wisconsin and 0.5 percent in California. Colorado led all gainers with 11.6 percent more milk.

• Time is running out to get corn silage samples submitted for consideration in the World Forage Analysis Superbowl. The entry deadline is July 1. Hay and haylage samples need to be submitted by August 30.

• The Dairy Forage Seminar topics at World Dairy Expo were recently announced.

• This reminder from South Dakota: It’s time to watch for pea aphids in alfalfa.

June 19, 2018

• It’s National Forage Week! Expound to someone on the value of forage crops each and every day this week.

• Don’t sleep on this bermudagrass pest.

• Walmart has opened a new milk processing plant in Fort Wayne, Ind.

• The forage folks at Auburn University are celebrating forages this month with a series of informative webinars.

• Iowa and Wisconsin are teaming up for a silage conference that will take place in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday, June 21.

June 12, 2018

The U.S. exported 211,855 metric tons (MT) of alfalfa hay during April, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That total was down 7 percent from March and 21 percent below April 2017. Year-to-date, total U.S. alfalfa hay exports are off 15 percent from 2017.

China imported 96,027 MT of U.S. alfalfa during April. This was their highest monthly total of 2018, but was 22 percent below April 2017.

Dairy farmers in northern New York are being reminded not to ignore the underlying costs associated with unabated alfalfa snout beetle.

• A Sericea Lespedeza Field Day will be held June 28 in Laurens, S.C., at the farm of Reed Edwards, who was featured in the February issue of Hay & Forage Grower magazine.

Mexico’s retaliatory tariff on cheese may temper some of the milk price optimism in 2018. Mexico buys nearly a quarter of all dairy products exported by the U.S. In Wisconsin, for example, 90 percent of the milk produced is turned into cheese, and 90 percent of that cheese is sold outside of the state.

University of Georgia Extension has updated their Georgia Forages website to make it more user friendly and informative.

June 5, 2018

• The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) recently announced that five research proposals from a total of 15 submissions will be funded through the U.S. Alfalfa Farmer Research Initiative, which is sometimes referred to as the Alfalfa Checkoff.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. totaled 11.6 million head on May 1, 2018, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. The inventory was 5 percent above one year ago. This is the second highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

• Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.70 million head, 8 percent below 2017. Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.80 million head, 6 percent above last year.

• Florida researchers are investigating the utility of limpograss. Initial results look positive for this warm-season grass as a potential summer forage and for stockpiling.

• The Noble Research Institute’s Texoma Cattlemen’s Conference will be held Friday, June 15.