September 25, 2018

• Ohio State University economist Carl Zulauf recently published a brief analysis of the U.S. Hay Market over the Last 100 Years.

• The University of Wisconsin has released SilageSnap, a smartphone app that evaluates in real time the effectiveness of corn silage kernel processing.

• The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) announced that nine new research projects have been approved to move forward using funds generated from the so-called “Alfalfa Checkoff.”

• After a somewhat slower year-over-year rise in July, U.S. milk production was up 1.4 percent in August compared to one year ago, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. Texas topped the leader board with a 9.6 percent rise in milk output. The nation’s dairy herd continues to hover at about 9.4 million head.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market totaled 11.1 million head on September 1. The inventory was 6 percent above one year ago. This is the highest September 1 inventory since the series began in 1996, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. Placements in feedlots during August totaled 2.07 million head, 7 percent above 2017.

September 18, 2018

• Big crops generally get bigger. USDA now forecasts corn production at 14.8 billion bushels, up 2 percent from August and up 2 percent from last year.

• Corn yields are expected to average 181.3 bushels per acre, up 2.9 bushels from the August forecast and up 4.7 bushels from 2017. If realized, this will be the highest U.S. yield on record.

• Expect corn silage yields to follow with equal zealous in most of the U.S. Severe wind and rainstorms flattened corn in localized areas of the Midwest during the past couple of weeks. Some of this corn is getting harvested in one direction, and in some cases it’s being done across the rows.

• It’s last call for entries into Southeastern Hay Contest. Samples need to be submitted by 5 p.m. on September 20. Here’s how to do it.

• South Dakota State University offers some tips on controlling face flies in pastured cattle.

September 11, 2018

• Alfalfa hay exports in July were something of a mixed bag, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Total world exports during the month were actually up 24 percent. July was the first month of the year when export volume exceeded that of 2017.

• China imported 78,259 metric tons (MT) of alfalfa during July, down 11 percent from June and 6 percent below one year ago. Year-to-date alfalfa hay sales to China are 19 percent off last year’s pace. Recall that a 25 percent tariff was slapped on alfalfa hay by China and went into effect on July 6.

• Both Japan and Saudi Arabia imported close to 50,000 MT of alfalfa hay during July. The Saudis continue an import pace that is well above 2017. Their July total of 49,249 MT was 112 percent over last year and year-to-date exports are 39 percent ahead of 2017.

• University of California Extension will be holding an Alfalfa & Forage Field Day on September 19 at the Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center in Parlier.

• The University of Georgia’s Advanced Grazing School will be held on September 18 and 19 at the Vidalia Onion Research and Extension Center in Lyons. The preregistration deadline is this Friday.

September 4, 2018

There were a lot of new forage machinery innovations at last week’s Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. This week’s Hay Pellets features a few of the highlights.

• Vermeer is building five of its ZR5 self-propelled balers for selected Iowa and Nebraska dealerships. They will be made available for cornstalk baling this fall.

• John Deere unveiled its 9000 Series of forage harvesters.

• Krone introduced new adaptor kits for its forage harvester heads.

• Case IH debuted a few new enhancements to its 2019 disc mower-conditioner line.

• Claas announced several forage harvester and hay tool advancements.

• Massey-Ferguson premiered a new RB Series silage baler. It will be made available in two different models.