September 29, 2020

• The World Forage Analysis Superbowl will once again provide educational presentations by way of its popular Dairy Forage Seminars program, held virtually in 2020 on the new World Forage Analysis Superbowl YouTube channel. The list of this year’s topics and speakers can be found here. The presentations will be made available following the Brevant seeds Forage Superbowl virtual awards luncheon on September 30 at noon CT.

• Give warm-season grasses some autumn care to ensure lush, spring growth.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with capacity of at least 1,000 head) totaled 11.4 million head on September 1. The inventory was 4% above one year ago and is the highest September 1 inventory since tracking began in 1996. Placements in feedlots during August totaled 2.06 million head, 9% above 2019.

• Fall-established winter annuals will help bolster forage inventories, according to Penn State specialists.

• University of California Cooperative Extension researchers will be evaluating the impact on soil quality from applying compost to alfalfa.

September 22, 2020

• Year-over-year milk production in the U.S. for August was up 1.8% but down just slightly from the previous month. The nation’s dairy herd is 42,000 cows larger than one year ago.

• The deadline for purchasing Forage Production APH or alfalfa seed crop insurance coverage (where available) for the 2021 crop year is approaching. September 30 is the last day to purchase these products in most states.

• The Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Okla., is celebrating its 75th anniversary of serving agricultural producers through research and outreach.

• University of Florida research shows that seeding rate affects the performance of black oats for forage.

• China announced last week that U.S. alfalfa hay will remain exempt from the additional 25% tariff imposed during the trade war through September 16, 2021, according to The Hoyt Report.

September 15, 2020

• July alfalfa exports to all trade partners were down 1.4% compared to one year ago, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Year-to-date exports through July remain 14.5% ahead of 2019.

• U.S. alfalfa exports to China during July were up by nearly 50% and totaled 103,240 metric tons (MT). Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and South Korea all imported fewer alfalfa tons during July compared to one year ago.

• As of August 1, alfalfa acres in the U.S. harvested as dry hay are forecasted to drop by 2.3% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Total alfalfa hay production is expected to drop by nearly 6% because of both reduced average yields and fewer acres.

• In the September Crop Production report, USDA dropped their estimate of U.S. corn production by 2% from the previous month to 14.9 billion bushels. Yields are now expected to average 178.5 bushels per acre, down 3.3 bushels from the August forecast but 11.1 bushels higher than last year. The yield forecast, if realized, would mark a new record for average yield.

• Livestock producers in the southeast U.S. are being encouraged to participate in a regional hay feeding survey. The short survey can be completed here.

September 8, 2020

The University of Nebraska offers some tips on windrow grazing annual forages to extend the grazing season.
The National Hay Association will hold a virtual annual meeting this year on September 18, 2020. It’s the organization’s 125th anniversary.
Weigh, test, and sample hay before you buy. Cheap feed may not be cheap in the long run, according to University of Missouri specialists.
The art and science of grazing don’t always match.
Mississippi State University recently posted this Rocky Lemus presentation on “Developing Efficient Winter Grazing Systems.”

September 1, 2020

• Fertilizer prices remain well below a year ago. Based on the most recent Illinois Production Cost Report, retail urea prices have nitrogen at 39 cents per pound, phosphorus is at 30 cents per pound of P2O5, and potassium checks in at 28 cents per pound of K2O. Now is a good time to catch up on potassium applications for alfalfa fields.

• Here’s a good overview of considerations to be made before cutting alfalfa this month.

• Retail giant Walmart is looking to graze toward a sustainable beef supply chain.

• After your corn silage is in the bunker or pile, here’s what happens.

• Kansas State University offers some tips for late summer and fall-seeded alfalfa.