April 26, 2022

• 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.

• Soil crusting is a serious impediment to seedling emergence, but it can be avoided.

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.