Pests, prices, and production practices are ever-changing and can be difficult to keep up with. Our unprecedented access to information can yield either valuable insight from an expert or just as easily- information overload. Finding quality sources that provide good information relevant to your business is always a challenge. But identifying expert, trusted sources of information can save you time and allow you to avoid sifting through incomplete or conflicting search results.

Crop Production Information. One such source is available through the UC Alfalfa Workgroup which contains a great deal of information on production, but is also a real-time blog:  the UC Alfalfa & Forage News Blog. Several articles are uploaded each month and are written by university experts on topics like water use, nematodes, yield, GMOs, exports, and quality. Since the first post dating back to October of 2012, the blog has enjoyed diverse contributions and now boasts nearly 50 high-quality articles focused specifically on alfalfa and forage.

UC Alfalfa & Forage News Blog: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/Alfalfa/

Soil Information.   If you want learn about up the soil under your feet, a website and corresponding app, Soil Web,  will put all the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil information at your fingertips.  The Soil Web app is available for both iPhone and Android systems and has the added functionality of utilizing the GPS capability of your smartphone.

Website: http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/drupal/node/758

iPhone App: http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/drupal/node/886

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=casoilresource.apps.soilweb

Pest Information. In addition to the real-time alfalfa blog, one of the key sources for pest management is the UC IPM website.  Frequently updated and exhaustive in depth, UC IPM Online provides general information on cultural practices as well as biological and chemical controls for pest problems for alfalfa and most other crops.  Resources like this exist for the benefit of the entire industry and I encourage you to take advantage of them. 

Pest ID and IPM Info: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnewpest.alfalfa-hay.html

Weed Information.  Identification of weeds is a key aspect of weed control – excellent sources can be found at: The Weed Research and Information Center http://wric.ucdavis.edu/

Price Information.  It can be frustrating to find current prices for hay, and understand trends.   You could ask five neighbors and hear seven different things, or consult two independent sources: The Hoyt Report and USDA-Market News.  USDA Haymarket News publishes a weekly hay market report for California. 

In addition to the free USDA report, an excellent source is Seth Hoyt’s ‘The Hoyt Report.’ Seth, a member of CAFA and CAFA-sponsored speaker at the Western Alfalfa Symposium this fall, is one of the most authoritative sources of market information on hay in the nation.  His weekly hay market analysis newsletter is $119/year and contains much valuable information.

USDA Livestock and Grain Hay Reports: http://goo.gl/XR98PJ

The Hoyt Report: http://thehoytreport.com

 

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