August 30, 2022

• July milk production in the U.S. totaled 19.1 billion pounds, up 0.2% from a year ago, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. The number of milk cows on farms was 9.42 million head, which was 67,000 head fewer than July 2021 but 1,000 head more than the previous month.

• Manage bahiagrass to avoid centipedegrass infestations.

• High nitrates can be a problem in drought-stressed cornstalks. Graze them carefully.

• Consider swath grazing to reduce hay feeding and extend the grazing season.

• The 2022 Kentucky Grazing Conference will be held on October 26 and 27 (same program) in Leitchfield and Winchester, Ky., respectively. Guest speakers will include Ray Archuleta and Jim Gerrish.

August 23, 2022

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlot capacity of 1,000 or more head) totaled 11.2 million head on August 1. The inventory was 1% above a year ago. This is the second highest August 1 inventory since tracking began in 1996. Placements in feedlots during July totaled 1.77 million head, 2% above 2021. Marketings of fed cattle during July totaled 1.83 million head, which was 4% below 2021.

• Follow these key steps for fall pasture renovation.

• The University of Florida provides some detailed analysis of what it cost them to graze warm-season annual forages.

• More thoughts from Penn State Extension on dealing with droughty corn. South Dakota State tells us how to value the crop.

• Drought followed by rain can boost the risk for prussic acid poisoning in sorghum species, including johnsongrass.

August 16, 2022

• The production of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass dry hay mixtures in the U.S. for 2022 is expected to be slightly below last year, according to USDA’s August Crop Production report. Estimated production is pegged at 49.1 million tons, which is only 0.3% less than 2021. Final production figures won’t be known until January 2023.

• Acreage of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures is actually higher than 2021, but the predicted average U.S. yield is slightly lower than a year ago (3.17 versus 3.23 tons per acre).

• For dry hay other than alfalfa, 2022 production is estimated to be 67.7 million tons, down 4.6% from 2021. As with alfalfa, acreage is slightly higher, but yields are expected to be lower by 0.12 tons per acre.

• In the same report, USDA pegs corn production to be down 5% from last year with a national yield of 174.4 bushels per acre. Acreage for grain is expected to be 4% lower than 2021. Soybean production is forecasted to set a new record high at 4.53 billion bushels, up 2% from a year ago.

• The University of Missouri offers these considerations for applying nitrogen to boost fall tall fescue growth and yield.

August 9, 2022

• Alfalfa hay exports to all countries totaled 202,700 metric tons (MT) during June, which was down 17% from a year ago. Through the first half of 2022, alfalfa hay exports are about 2% behind 2021, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

• China purchased its lowest 2022 monthly total of U.S. alfalfa hay during June at 104,395 MT. Through the first half of the year, alfalfa hay exports to China are running just slightly ahead of 2021.

• In its annual Agricultural Land Values summary, USDA reports that farm real estate values, including land and buildings, averaged $3,800 for 2022. That figure was up by $420 per acre, or 12.4%, from a year ago. Cropland averaged $5,050 per acre (up 14.3%) while pastureland averaged $1,650 per acre, or 11.5% higher than 2021.

• The highest average land values were reported in the Corn Belt region at $7,560 per acre. The Pacific region followed with land values averaging $7,040 per acre, which was largely impacted by California at $12,000 per acre. The lowest average land values were in the Mountain region at $1,390 per acre. The Northern Plains region had the next lowest, averaging $2,780 per acre.

• Blister beetles are being reported in large number in Missouri.

August 2, 2022

• Early fall is one of the best times to topdress maintenance fertilizer on perennial forages.

• Michigan State University reports on a study that evaluated mycotoxins in corn silage.

• Be extra cautious of nitrates in drought-stressed corn and sorghum.

• Is it worth mowing drought-stressed grass hayfields?

• To consolidate its forage-mowing implement assembly at a single location, John Deere is transitioning its mower-conditioner production from Ottumwa, Iowa, to Monterrey, Mexico.