May 30, 2023
• The 2023 annual average combined gross wage rate for field and livestock workers was $16.99 per hour, according to the USDA’s Farm Labor report, which was up 4% from last year. The Pacific Northwest and California have the highest agricultural worker wages, whereas the mid-South’s Delta region has the lowest.
• Entries are open for the 2023 World Forage Analysis Superbowl held at the World Dairy Expo.
• The University of Kentucky is home to the new USDA Forage-Animal Production Research Unit.
• Implement rotational grazing to maximize land value and improve forage utilization.
• Test nitrates in drought-stressed cereal grains before grazing livestock.
May 23, 2023
• Milk production in the U.S. during April was up 0.3% from one year ago, continuing a multi-month trend. The nation’s dairy herd is up 63,000 cows since the start of 2022.
• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market in feedlots with capacity of at least 1,000 animals totaled 11.6 million head on May 1. The inventory was 3% below a year ago. Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.75 million head, 4% below 2022.
• Manage volunteer annual ryegrass in new tall fescue stands.
• Portions of the Great Plains are still in need of moisture.
May 16, 2023
• Alfalfa hay exports to all trade partners during March totaled 176,590 metric tons (MT), according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That total was down 30% compared to one year ago. Through the first three months of the year, total alfalfa hay exports were down 29.4%.
• Year-over-year alfalfa hay exports to China during March were down 37% while Japan had a 55% decrease. The one bright spot in 2023 has been Saudi Arabia, which has imported 134% more U.S. alfalfa hay over the first three months of the year compared to 2022.
• The news on the exported grass hay front isn’t any better; in fact, it’s worse. Total exports of grass hay through the first quarter of the year were down 34%.
• Time is running short to repair damaged pastures from winter hoof traffic.
• Utilizing pasture can save money when feeding nonlactating animals on a dairy farm.
May 9, 2023
• Most fertilizer prices continue to drop. Urea now sits at about 65 cents per pound of nitrogen, down from $1 just one year ago.
• Use these recommended stockmanship tips when moving cattle to new pastures.
• Sorghum (milo) offers a means to reduce winter cattle-feeding costs.
• Grazing before pastures are ready can have lasting impacts. Here’s how to limit the damage.
• Indiana Grazing Schools will return in June at two locations.
May 2, 2023
• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market for feedlots with capacity of at least 1,000 head totaled 11.6 million head on April 1. That inventory was 4% below a year earlier. Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.99 million head, 1% below 2022.
• The Fondomonte story remains in the news, but this reporter doesn’t feel things will change much.
• Here are some new insights about corn silage fatty acids.
• How late is too late to plant cool-season perennial forages?
• North Dakota State specialists advise to plan for a delayed grazing season.