October 27, 2020

• Year-over-year U.S. milk production jumped 2.4% during September, although it was at its lowest level since February 2020. The current dairy herd is 46,000 cows larger than one year ago, according to USDA.

• Drought conditions are still prominent in many parts of the U.S.

• One of the places it’s been dry is the western Great Plains. Here, Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University emeritus extension animal scientist, explains how limiting hay usage can help producers conserve hay while maintaining weight goals in cattle.

• USDA recently released the results of their 2019 Organic Survey. Sales of organic commodities rose 31% from 2016 to 2019. California easily tops the list for states with organic product sales. Here are the highlights.

• Bale grazing continues to grow in popularity. Canada’s Beef Cattle Research Council offers this information to help make the practice successful.

October 20, 2020

• Here are more reasons to consider transitioning some of your toxic tall fescue pastures to a novel endophyte variety.

• Fall is a great time to soil test, but soil testing following or during a drought can provide misleading results.

• Grazing cattle on wind-blown or lodged grain corn brings some unique challenges.

• The University of Florida recently provided this nice summary of cool-season forage options for winter and spring grazing.

• Get ready for winter on the range.

October 13, 2020

• Alfalfa hay exports from the U.S. during August totaled 212,474 metric tons (MT), according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This was down 9% from one year ago and down 6% from the previous month. Through August, year-to-date alfalfa hay exports remain 11% ahead of 2019 and are the highest they’ve ever been at this point in any past years.

• Exports of alfalfa hay to China remained strong during August with 109,844 MT being shipped. That compared to 82,543 MT in August 2019. Exports of alfalfa hay to Japan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea were all down from one year ago in August.

• USDA made some slight adjustments to the alfalfa production forecast for 2020 in their October Crop Production report. Although total acres didn’t change, they boosted average yield from 3.16 to 3.22, which raised overall production to 52.6 million tons. The new production forecast is still 4% below 2019 production. A similar adjustment was made for hay other than alfalfa. Final production numbers won’t be available until January.

• If you want to know what your corn fodder is worth, here’s the answer.

• It looks like La Niña is here to stay for a while.

October 6, 2020

• The American Forage and Grassland Council has decided to move forward with their 2021 Annual Conference as a hybrid in-person and virtual event. The in-person portion will be held in Savannah, Ga., on January 4 and 5. The virtual offering will be January 11 and 12. The winners of the Southeastern Hay Contest will also be announced at this event.

• The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance will be offering their Alfalfa Intensive Training Seminar as a virtual event this year. It will be held on October 27 to 29 and will feature a number of prominent forage experts as presenters.

Weigh the risks of an October alfalfa harvest.

• A well-managed grazing system is generally beneficial for water quality, but animals need to have limited access to surface waters.

• Fall is the perfect time for soil sampling.