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
A University of California, Davis-produced YouTube video on alfalfa integrated pest management was judged a finalist in competition at the 2015 national Entomological Society of America annual meeting held in Minneapolis, Minn. in November.
The alfalfa IPM YouTube video is titled the “Identification of parasitized alfalfa caterpillars and armyworms,” which shows how to monitor alfalfa insect pests and natural enemies to help make informed management decisions on pest control in alfalfa production....More
Farm organizations and other agribusiness-related groups were praising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today for refusing to require labeling of foods made with ingredients from genetically modified crops....More
The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) has released its 2016 edition of the popular “Alfalfa Variety Ratings - Winter Survival, Fall Dormancy & Pest Resistant Ratings for Alfalfa Varieties” publication.
It features 178 alfalfa varieties from 22 marketers, verified with the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies and the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board....More
Tempted to ‘sheep off' or graze your fall alfalfa growth after a drought year? You’d better be careful!
Many fields of alfalfa have ‘dried down’ this year, but most will start growing this fall when the rains return.
Farmers and grazers are often tempted to graze those fields in the fall-winter period when green growth reappears from October through February....More
The Rayner family farms year round near Phoenix in the Arizona desert, double cropping 4,500 acres of alfalfa, cotton, wheat, and forage sorghum.
The family embraces new technology across the farm to maximize the farm’s productivity and efficiency. Yet there’s always room for improvement.
“With all of our yield gains in our crops, alfalfa is the one that has been lagging yield wise,” said Ron Rayner, who along with his brothers Robert and Earl are partners in ‘A-Tumbling-T-Ranches’ based in Goodyear....More
A feed beet field day demonstration was held at De Groot Dairies in late August.
The demonstration showed how De Groot Dairies is producing high yields of feed beets then storing them for use in cattle rations.
The dairy feeds about 20 pounds of feed beets per cow per day in its mixed ration.
A leading authority on growing alfalfa in California sang much the same tune at this year’s alfalfa and forage field day in Parlier, Calif., but he tweaked the lyrics this time since in his words, “It’s a down year for alfalfa.”
Acreage is down and so are prices for lower or medium quality hay, said Dan Putnam, alfalfa and forage specialist with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis)....More