August 29, 2023

• According to the USDA’s Milk Production report, the U.S. totaled 19.1 billion pounds of milk production in July. This is 0.5% less than last year, and the number of milk cows on U.S. farms is also down 13,000 head from July 2022.

• The USDA’s Cattle on Feed report states cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 11 million as of August 1, which is down 2% from last year.

• Cattle and calves placed in feedlots totaled 1.62 million head, which is 8% below 2022, and marketings of fed cattle was 5% below 2022 at 1.73 million head.

• Here are some options for feeding high-nitrate forage.

• Diversifying your forage program could benefit manure management.

August 22, 2023

• Production of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass dry hay mixtures in the U.S. is projected to be 48.9 million tons in 2023, according to the USDA’s August Crop Production report. This is up approximately 2% from 2022; however, final production figures won’t be known until January 2024.

• Acreage of alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures is almost 5% higher than 2022, but forage yields are predicted to drop from 3.22 to 3.13 tons per acre.

• Estimated production for all dry hay other than alfalfa is pegged at 69.9 million tons, which is 7% more than 2022. Both acreage and yield are expected to be higher.

• Also in the Crop Production report, corn production is estimated to be 10% greater than 2022, whereas soybean production is forecasted 2% lower. While acreage was up for corn and down for soybeans, the national yield for both grain crops is predicted to be better than last year.

• Assess and manage drought damage in smooth bromegrass pastures.

August 15, 2023

• According to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, alfalfa hay exports to all countries totaled 197,386 metric tons (MT) in June. This up 18% from May exports but down 2% from exports in June 2022.

• China purchased the most U.S. alfalfa hay at 61,637 MT, which is 23% more alfalfa hay than it purchased in May. Even so, year-over-year to China through June were down 43% compared to 2022.

• Saudi Arabia imported more U.S. alfalfa hay than Japan for the third month in a row.

• Read about lime sources and application rates for fall-seeded alfalfa.

• Have a harvest plan for better baleage.

August 8, 2023

• According to the USDA’s Agricultural Land Values summary, farm real estate values, including land and buildings, averaged $4,080 per acre for 2023. This is up $280 per acre, or 7.4%, from last year.

• Cropland value averaged $5,460 per acre across the U.S., which is up 8.1% from 2022, and pastureland value averaged $1,760, which is 6.7% higher than last year.

• The Corn Belt was the region with the highest average farm real estate value at $8,100 per acre, followed by the Pacific region at $7,270 per acre where California leads the charge with $12,400 per acre. The Mountain region had the lowest average farm real estate value at $1,450 per acre.

• Michigan State University will host the 2023 Beginner Grazing School later this month.

• Be on the lookout for true armyworm damage in grass forages.

August 1, 2023

• Here is how to store large round bales to limit hay loss.

• Start prepping fields and buying seed for tall fescue renovation.

• Fall is a good time to tackle perennial pasture weeds.

• Have a plan to make better baleage.

• This is what you should know before buying hay.