February 28, 2023

• Year-over-year milk production in the U.S. jumped by 1.3% in January to 19.3 billion pounds. Milk per cow and cow numbers were also higher despite the record-high dairy cow slaughter in January.

• A historically high milk price in 2022 didn’t offer enough reason for 6.4% of the licensed dairy farms to stay in business. That exit rate ranks sixth all-time since data tracking began in 1992. Missouri lost 13.4% of its herds while Michigan saw 11.4% shutter the barn doors.

• On the beef cattle front, the reduced cow numbers are having an impact in the feedlots. Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head) totaled 11.7 million head on February 1, according to USDA. The inventory was 4% below the previous year. Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.93 million head, which was also 4% lower than 2022.

• As of last week, western Kansas remains the big loser on the drought monitor map.

• Water quantity and quality have become issues in Oklahoma.

February 21, 2023

• Small hay inventories are limiting the ability of cattle operations to expand their herds and replace previously culled cows. This has been the main driving factor why female trade hasn’t occurred at a brisker rate, according to CattleFax.

• Nutrient cycling from deposited manure in pastures can improve forage production.

• Consider these factors during and after stand establishment of native grasses.

• The sign-up period for USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) begins February 27 and runs through April 7. There are several options available, including Grassland CRP, which allows for grazing livestock.

• Fertilizer prices are on a downward trend, although still historically high. Based on DTN’s most recent price survey, dry urea is priced at $693 per ton or 75 cents per pound of actual nitrogen. That’s down from last year’s high of $1 per pound of actual nitrogen.

February 14, 2023

• Kansas State University offers some tips for establishing native grasses.

• Choosing the first field to graze.

Year-round grazing is feasible in northern Florida.

• The regional winners of the 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award Program were announced at the Cattlemen’s Convention in New Orleans.

• If you missed the World Alfalfa Congress, presentation videos are now available online.

February 7, 2023

• The U.S. beef cow inventory on January 1 was reported at 28.9 million head in USDA’s Cattle report. This was down 4% from a year ago and is the fewest number of beef cows since 1962. The small herd reflects the significant amount of culling that took place last summer because of widespread drought and high input costs. Marketing experts expect strong cattle markets in the coming years as replacement heifer numbers are also low.

• Have cattle prepared for extreme weather.

• The spring forage seeding crop insurance deadline for many Northern states is March 15.

• Animal unit months (AUMs) are explained here to help determine pasture forage needs.

• Work to strengthen your operational weaknesses.