To guarantee that an alfalfa crop has adequate soil moisture during the hot season growers should start monitoring soil moisture well before summer begins.
A challenge with using drip irrigation in alfalfa fields is to keep soil moisture levels stable during the typically hot and dry months. Planning and keeping track of deep moisture requirements during the summer can help growers reap profits from yield increases....More
Over the last several months, some people inside and outside of agriculture have been concerned over the sale of alfalfa farms in Vicksburg, Ariz. and near Blythe, Calif. to the dairy company Almarai of Saudi Arabia.
The issue was fueled in part by general media reports which played up the point that some Arizona and California alfalfa, grown with local and regional water supplies in generally dry, arid conditions over time, is exported to other countries....More
While California alfalfa acreage has declined in recent years largely tied to drought, the forage crop in Arizona is gaining in acreage, yield, and respect.
Barry Tickes pegs Arizona alfalfa acreage at 300,000 acres. Add another 35,000 acres in other hays to bring the state’s total forage production acreage to about 335,000 acres....More
Last year the California Association of Food Banks’ (CAFB) Farm to Family program received a record 150 million pounds of donated produce from the state’s farmers and packers. That’s 75,000 tons of food that otherwise would have gone to waste because markets did not want it....More
As a tribute to David Letterman and his popular Top 10 lists, let me present my own Top 10 list - the marketing mistakes farmers make. This comes from a 29-year career as a marketing consultant. (I will save the Top 10 mistakes marketing advisors tend to make for another time).
See if any of these apply to you....More
The alfalfa crowd gathered at the Arizona Alfalfa and Forage Workshop held in March was quizzed by University of Arizona staff about their chemical use to control pests in alfalfa fields. Participants included growers, pest control advisors, members of the agricultural industry, and others.
When asked about how they decide when to use an insecticide to control the Egyptian alfalfa weevil (EAW), 37 percent said their decision was based on the threshold level, 29 percent did not treat with an insecticide, and 14 percent sprayed for the weevil when spraying for aphids....More
More than 40 percent of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. is produced in less than a dozen western states, with Arizona and California playing a prominent role in cultivating the important cash and rotation crop.
Improved alfalfa production and ways to reduce production costs were discussed at the Arizona Alfalfa and Forage Crops Workshop at the University of Arizona (UA) Maricopa Agricultural Center....More
El Niño-related rain and snow falls last fall, winter, and early this spring have been on the sporadic side. Yet we should be (and are) thankful for the fallen moisture from the heavens. The Pacific Ocean-based warmer water phenomenon tossed more than a couple of buckets of rain and snow at California and Arizona – both facing severe drought....More
At 9 a.m. this Tuesday morning (Feb. 9), the gates to World Ag Expo - the world’s largest annual exposition - will open to welcome a potential crowd of 100,000 attendees over the farm show’s three-day run at the International Agri-Center (IAC) in Tulare, Calif.
While it appears Mother Nature will put smiles on the faces of exhibitors and attendees with sunny to partly cloudy skies in the forecast, it still might be a good idea to throw a poncho and boots in the truck, as attendees at previous farm shows can attest....More
Utilizing a variety of financial tools and estate planning techniques, a family may significantly mitigate the estate tax and minimize transfer costs.
Q: Should we establish an LLC for our family farming business?...More
If it’s true that we are what we eat, we could be talking about cactus cattle here. Whether it’s Angus in Arizona or cows in California, drought has made foraging more difficult.
Adding to a paucity of protein in the field, the price of commercial fodder continues to rise. Although it has lower protein content, cactus is emerging as an economical and high-energy forage option for livestock producers in arid lands....More
The war underway in agriculture continues and its strategic battlefield is located underground.
The continued farming skirmish pits western alfalfa growers – who want to upgrade from traditional surface irrigation systems to more water efficient subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems - against vertebrate pests, mainly pocket gophers, which chew up underground SDI drip tape.
While the stakes are high and producers have an upper hand, gophers remain the No. 1 enemy. ...More
<ore than 700 devout alfalfa and forage enthusiasts gathered for the 2015 Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium in December in Reno, Nev. to hear the latest news and forecasts for their industry.
Western hay market specialist Seth Hoyt, editor of The Hoyt Report newsletter, predicted that western alfalfa growers in the current downturn market will have better opportunities to make higher income in higher quality hays, rather than dry cow hay due to higher inventories.
Enjoy these photos from the event, courtesy of Western Farm Press.
Respected California market specialist Seth Hoyt doesn’t scratch his head much. Yet with the many complicated issues facing the western alfalfa industry, he and others are uncertain over where hay prices will head in 2016.
“The outlook for (2016) alfalfa hay prices is the hardest to predict in the 45 years I’ve been associated with the (western) alfalfa industry,” says Hoyt, editor of The Hoyt Report newsletter....More
Krone is expanding the company’s line of forage harvesters with four new models of the BiG X. The models include the BiG X 480, 530, 580, and 630 with 489, 523, 585 and 617 horsepower respectively.
The exterior of the new Krone models have been completely redesigned in order to increase visibility and function. The sloped body and low rear end allow the operator to easily see behind and to the side. ...More
Arizona farmer Kevin Rogers spent the busy morning taking care of pigs with his young adult children.
By early afternoon, he donned a blue sports coat, pink shirt, green tie, and a Stetson cowboy hat for an interview to share his dream to become the next president of the nation’s largest farm organization – the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)....More