August 31, 2021

• Many counties across the U.S. are eligible for emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres.

• Does grazing crop residues negatively impact subsequent crop yields? Here’s the short answer.

• Size matters, and grass seed size may be smaller in 2022.

• Kansas State University recently published its 2020 Summer Annual Forage Hay and Silage Variety Trial results.

• Grazing cattle can reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint, according to this Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

August 24, 2021

• U.S. milk production during July was 2% higher than a year ago, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. Recent growth in the nation’s dairy herd has appeared to settle at about 9.5 million head.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market totaled 11.1 million head on August 1 (feedlots over 1,000 head). The inventory was 2% below one year ago. Placements in feedlots during July totaled 1.74 million head, which was 8% below 2020, while marketings of fed cattle during July totaled 1.9 million head, 5% lower than a year ago.

• There’s still time to stockpile forage for late autumn and winter grazing.

• The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service is offering a free Forage Basics online course. Registration begins September 1.

• Soybeans can also be used as a forage crop.

August 17, 2021

• Alfalfa dry hay production is expected to drop 10% in 2021, according to USDA’s August Crop Production report. If true, this will surely support stronger hay prices well into the 2022 cropping year.

• Mostly because of drought, there were some huge alfalfa production declines in the Northern Plains. South Dakota is expected to be down 51% while North Dakota nearly matches that shortfall with a 49% reduction. Montana’s alfalfa production is expected to drop 38%.

• Although U.S. alfalfa hay acres are expected to be down less than 1%, the average yield is projected to decline by 9.2%.

• Production of hay other than alfalfa is forecasted to drop 3.8%. Acreage is down 1.6%, while the average yield is expected to decline by 2.4%.

• Based on data provided by The Hoyt Report, alfalfa hay prices are at least $30 per ton higher today than they were one year ago in the western U.S. In Idaho, the year-over-year hay price is about $70 per ton higher.

August 10, 2021

• June alfalfa exports totaled 233,008 metric tons (MT). This was slightly above a year ago but about 29,000 MT behind the previous month.

• At the 2021 halfway point, U.S. alfalfa hay exports to all countries were running 2.7% behind last year but 1.2% ahead of 2019.

• U.S. alfalfa exports to China in 2021 were 23% ahead of last year through June; however, exports to Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are trending behind 2020. Taiwan has decisively jumped over UAE as the U.S.’s fifth-largest alfalfa trade partner.

• Get up to speed on fall forage stockpiling with this information from Maryland and Kentucky.

• Pasture weed encroachment reduces livestock performance, animal health, and land productivity. Learn more from a University of Florida extension specialist.

August 3, 2021

• Cattle may bloat for a variety of reasons. This Michigan State University article sorts them out.

• A new addition to the Southeastern Hay Contest this year will be a Hay Short Course. Both online and live events are being planned.

• Spring oats and turnips can make for a good combination in the fall.

• It’s now time to start planning for some fall stockpiled forage that will extend the grazing season.

• Follow these six soil health principles from Noble Research Institute for improving land and profitability through regenerative agriculture.