• Year-over-year milk production declined by 0.5% during March. This followed a 0.9% drop in February and 1.7% decline in January, according to USDA’s Milk Production report.
• The U.S. dairy herd was 87,000 cows smaller in March than it was the previous year; however, the herd was 15,000 cows larger than in February. Milk prices are strong with Class III future prices being over $24 per hundredweight through August.
• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with 1,000 or more head) totaled 12.1 million head on April 1. The inventory was 2% above a year ago. It was the highest April 1 inventory since tracking began in 1996, according to USDA’s Cattle on Feed report. Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 2 million head, 2% below 2021.
• Be ready to roll when the opportunity arises for spring forage seedings.
April 19, 2022
• State veterinarians in Utah have confirmed several positive cases of trichomoniasis in bulls. More possible cases are under investigation. “Trich” is a venereal disease of cattle caused by a small parasite. It is spread between cattle during breeding.• The University of Kentucky warns growers of insecticide resistance in alfalfa weevil populations.
• Alfalfa and red clover can supply nitrogen for following crops when grown for only one year.
• Penn State University reminds timothy growers to scout for mites.
• Co-grazing animal species has the potential to boost profits.
April 12, 2022
• The USDA pegged the total hay acres expected to be harvested in 2022 at 50.3 million in their recent Prospective Plantings report. That was 1% below the 50.7 million acres harvested in 2021.
• Alfalfa hay exports during February totaled 232,170 metric tons (MT), which was 10% higher than a year ago and 16% more than the previous month. Through the first two months, alfalfa hay exports are running 16% ahead of 2021.
• China, Japan, and South Korea all imported significantly more U.S. alfalfa hay in February compared to the previous year. China imported 123,614 MT of U.S. alfalfa during the month.
• From a corn perspective, here are some thoughts from the University of Wisconsin’s Joe Lauer on how to approach the upcoming growing season.
• Deciphering the grazing alphabet of AUs, AUDs, and AUMs
April 5, 2022
• Cornell University forage experts remind us that forage shrink costs more when inputs are high-priced.
• Spring weeds in forage stands and pastures may demand control measures. Here’s a good review of some options.
• According to USDA, farmers expect to plant only 89.5 million acres of corn in 2022, which is down 4% from last year. Commodity experts expected a decline in acres because of higher input costs but not this large of a drop. Most of the lost corn acres will be planted to soybeans.
• It’s time to assess forage legume stands.
• The University of Nebraska provides some helpful information when considering corn silage protein content in livestock rations.