February 2024 Hay Pellets

By Hay and Forage Grower

February 27, 2024

• Annual milk production totaled 226 billion pounds in 2023, according to USDA’s Milk Production report. Adjusted monthly values set last year’s milk production back an additional 187 million pounds from what was originally reported, putting the new total 0.04% behind 2022 levels.

• Milk production in January totaled 19.09 billion pounds, which was down 1% year-over-year. The national dairy herd was also down 23,000 head in January following a 50,000-head reduction in dairy cows over the course of 2023.

• Conversely, beef numbers were up. Cattle and calves on feed for the U.S. slaughter market (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more) totaled 11.8 million head on February 1, which was slightly higher than the previous year. Placements in feedlots and marketings of fed cattle during January were both slightly lower than 2022.

• Clemson Cooperative Extension Service is hosting two forage-focused field days in March.

Balancing mineral supplementation for beef cattle can be complicated.

February 20, 2024

• According to the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistic Service’s Census of Agriculture, there were nearly 1.9 million farms and ranches in the U.S. in 2022, accounting for 880 million acres of farmland. The number of farms and ranches is down 7% from the previous census conducted in 2017; however, the average farm size was up 5% at 463 acres.

• The census reported U.S. farms and ranches generated $543 billion in agricultural products, which was up considerably from the $389 billion earned in 2017. Total net cash income on U.S. farms and ranches in 2022 was $152 billion.

• The USDA’s Farms and Land in Farms report also details average farm size by state.

• Michigan State University is offering Hay Production 101, an online course designed to help new and experienced hay producers improve their operations. Register here.

• Consider adding these components to pasture lease agreements.

February 13, 2024

• Consider limit-feeding corn grain to offset high winter feed costs.

• Don’t let frozen water tanks interfere with animal gains.

These bermudagrass varieties boast different benefits.

• Carbon and nitrogen are the building blocks for soil biology.

• Growing sunn hemp with corn for silage could boost crude protein in feed while reducing nitrogen fertilizer needs.

February 6, 2024

• The U.S. beef cow inventory was 28.2 million head as of January 1, according to the USDA’s Cattle report. This is 2% lower than a year ago. The total number of all cattle and calves in the U.S. was 87.2 million head, also down 2% from last year.

• According to a Minnesota study, alfalfa and other continuous living cover (CLC) crops boast greater environmental and economic benefits than conventional grain crops.

• Grazing stockpiled fescue on unfrozen ground could have lasting consequences.

• There are plenty of options to extend winter grazing in the Southeast.

Keep these timely tips from the University of Kentucky in mind.