July 27, 2021

• Year-over-year June milk production in the U.S. was up 2.9% but below production of the previous three months, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. The number of milk cows held steady from May to June.

• In their annual Cattle report, USDA pegged the U.S. beef cow inventory at 31.4 million head, which was down 2% from 2020. Beef cow numbers are down 3.1% from the 2018 cyclical peak of 32.4 million head. The estimated number of beef replacement heifers is 4.3 million head, down 2.3% from last year.

• “Declining cattle numbers are improving cattle market conditions both for the remainder of the year and into 2022 and beyond,” says Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University livestock marketing specialist. “Tighter cattle supplies, combined with continued strong beef demand leads to expectations for modestly higher prices for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.”

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with more than 1,000 head capacity) totaled 11.3 million head on July 1., which was 1% below a year ago. The Cattle on Feed report also pegged marketings of fed cattle during June at 2.02 million head, 3% more than 2020.

• Consider these tips from Iowa State University Extension for establishing forages during the late summer.

July 20, 2021

• Here’s the rundown on a host of summer cover crop options from Penn State University.

• The wheat is harvested. Now what?

• North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture are connecting those who need feed with those who have it.

• Speed up field curing of hay crops with these research-proven recommendations.

• The nutrient value of wheat straw is influenced by several factors.

July 13, 2021

• Producers with crop insurance can hay, graze, or chop forage cover crops for silage or haylage at any time and still receive 100% of the prevented planting payment.

• The U.S. exported 253,804 metric tons (MT) of alfalfa during May, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The total was slightly above the previous month but far below the 278,839 MT exported in May 2020. Through May, alfalfa exports are running about 3.5% behind last year.

• China imported a healthy 131,373 MT of U.S. alfalfa during May, almost 20 MT more than the previous month and about 15 MT more than a year ago.

• Longer days (shorter nights) have an impact on the way plants grow and need to be grazed or managed.

• This year’s list of Dairy Forage Seminar topics and speakers at World Dairy Expo have been announced.

July 6, 2021

• The USDA’s Acreage report pegs 2021 hay acres at 51.5 million, down about 1% from last year. Alfalfa acres retreated less than 1% to 16.1 million acres. Final estimates won’t be available until January 2022.

• Corn planted for all purposes in 2021 is estimated at 92.7 million acres, up 2% or 1.87 million acres from last year. This estimate was much lower than what most experts expected, and the corn market quickly responded with higher bid prices.

• Blister beetles in hay could be more of a problem this year, according to experts at North Dakota State University.

• A University of Nebraska extension educator encourages beef producers to graze with the weather.

• This one hits close to home: Coffee price and availability are being threatened by leaf rust, according to this news release from Purdue University.