December 29, 2020

• Penn State Extension offers this nice summary of strategies to help mitigate pasture damage caused by winter feeding.

• If you couldn’t make it to the American Forage and Grassland Council’s in-person conference in Savannah, Ga., be sure to register for their virtual conference event on January 11 and 12.

• Alabama extension is offering a virtual 2021 Alabama Bermudagrass Hay Growers Summit on February 9.

• This year’s highest yield in the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Yield Contest was Don Stall of Charlotte, Mich., who harvested a whopping 477 bushels per acre from his contest field plot.

• If you haven’t checked out Krone’s “2020 FFA Battle of the Bales” winners, you can do so here.

December 22, 2020

• Milk production continued to gush in November, being driven by both higher production per cow and a larger U.S. dairy herd. Year-over-year production rose another 3% with 62,000 more cows than last November. It was the third month in a row when milk production has risen by 2.3% or more.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market totaled 12 million head (feedlots with 1,000 head or more capacity) on December 1. The inventory was slightly above one year ago. Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.78 million head, 2% below 2019.

• This year’s Maryland-Delaware Forage Conference will be virtual with two morning sessions on January 14 and 19. For a program agenda and to register for the free conference, click here.

• Penn State Extension is offering a series of five free webinars focusing on making the most of your small grain forage program. The webinars will be held on Tuesday mornings starting on January 26. For more information and to register, click here.

• How’s life in the soil? South Dakota State University researchers suggest that you might want to count the earthworms.

December 15, 2020

• Researchers at the University of California-Davis are experimenting with using drones to spray for summer worm pests in alfalfa.

• Keep these tips from the University of Arkansas in mind as you formulate a winter feeding strategy this year and into the future.

• President-elect Joe Biden has tabbed Tom Vilsack as the new secretary of agriculture. Vilsack served in that same role during the Obama administration and prior to that was a two-term Iowa governor. Most recently, he was the CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. His experience provides him with a broad understanding of production agriculture and the workings of USDA.

• Climatologists expect a La Niña weather pattern to persist throughout the winter in the Northern Hemisphere and to weaken during the spring. For the U.S., this means drier and warmer weather in the South and wetter and cooler conditions across much of the North.

• The University of Kentucky offers a wide range of forage variety performance tests. Check out the latest results for grasses and legumes here.

December 8, 2020

• U.S. alfalfa hay exports to all countries in October totaled 209,000 metric tons (MT), down 25% from a year ago but up 18% from the previous month. Year-to-date through October, total alfalfa hay world exports are 2.5% ahead of 2019, according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

• After being down in volume in September, China rebounded to import 108,565 MT of U.S. alfalfa in October, which accounted for over half of the total alfalfa hay exported from the U.S. during the month. Year-to-date, alfalfa hay exports to China are up 45% compared to 2019.

• Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and United Arab Emirates have all imported less alfalfa hay in 2020 compared to 2019. The expected large rise in exports to Saudi Arabia because of water restrictions in that country has just never come to fruition.

• Farmers, ranchers, and others now have until December 21 to make opinions and comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program. Comments can be submitted via email to

• Alfalfa growers have until December 11 to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), which will pay a flat rate of $15 per acre for certified alfalfa acres.

December 1, 2020

• The University of Wisconsin has released the results from their 2020 Corn Hybrid Performance Trials that includes extensive silage yield and forage quality data.

• Kansas State University research on late summer, early fall controlled rangeland burning looks convincing.

This video is offered by the University of Georgia and highlights the correct way to measure moisture in hay and baleage.

• Net farm income in 2020 is forecasted to rise by nearly 23% compared to 2019, according to USDA. Over one-third of the total net farm income is expected to come from government payments.

• As has been the case for many farm exhibitions, the World Ag Expo will be a virtual event in 2021. It will be held February 9 to 11.