November 30, 2020

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Contents

Fertility Planning on Fields With Crop Residue Removal

NAFA Spotlights Value of Alfalfa With New Regeneration Nation Initiative
CFAP 2 Application Deadline Fast Approaching
Cattle on Pasture Cause Weaker Round Bale Hay Market in Mid-November
Comment Deadline for Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program Extended
In the News: Tar Spot in Minnesota, CRP Signup Dates, Corn Stalk Bale Value, Alfalfa Variety Ratings Guide
Get Amazon Smile to Donate to MFA
Take Advantage of MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database
2020 Sponsors
Contact Us
MFA Website
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Fertility Planning on Fields With Crop Residue Removal
Lyssa Seefeldt, Extension Dairy and Livestock Educator for Eau Claire County

The 2020 growing season has been a good one for much of Wisconsin. The weather this fall has favored timely crop harvest with early corn drydown and favorable soil conditions. Forage and bedding stocks across the state were at an all-time low in 2019, according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service for Wisconsin, putting pressure on farms to rebuild some reserves. Many farms have been observed doing just that, harvesting corn stover/residue into bales for bedding.

While these stover bales can definitely be an asset to the livestock side of the farm, what should we be thinking about as we go into our winter planning for fertility of our fields with crop residue removed for the coming year?

Soil organic carbon is generated by decomposing animal and plant tissues and microbes that are decomposers. When we remove the stover for bedding material, we are also removing carbon from our soil ecosystem, which can lead to a reduction in soil organic carbon levels and productivity. Click here for the complete article.

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NAFA Spotlights Value of Alfalfa With New Regeneration Nation Initiative

A new initiative – Regeneration Nation – has been launched to support alfalfa farmers and the benefits the crop brings to the dairy industry as well as the environment and a farmer’s return on investment, reports the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA). The initiative is in response to a U.S. alfalfa acreage decline despite alfalfa’s position as the nation’s third most valuable field crop, valued at over $10.8 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

“Alfalfa is the ultimate regenerative crop, helping farmers build their soil health and reach sustainability goals. Additionally, it provides more protein per acre than row crops for dairy rations and helps support milk production. The Regeneration Nation initiative allows us to applaud these benefits,” said Beth Nelson, NAFA president. “We’re excited to partner with others in the alfalfa industry to share the incredible advantages of alfalfa and the results from our new and much-needed research with a larger audience. The Regeneration Nation initiative gives us a platform to communicate these benefits and results to dairy and forage growers across the country.” Click here for the complete article.

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CFAP 2 Application Deadline Fast Approaching

If you haven’t already applied for assistance through USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2), do so quickly as the deadline to apply is December 11. The program is designed to provide assistance to producers suffering financial losses due to ongoing market disruptions and associated marketing costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total funding for CFAP 2 is $14 billion, with funds coming from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. CFAP 2 is considered a separate program and requires a separate sign-up, even if the producer signed up for other crops or commodities and received payment under CFAP 1. Producers who did not sign up for CFAP 1 are also eligible to sign up for CFAP 2.

Both alfalfa hay and alfalfa seed fall under the "Flat-rate crops" designation. Flat-rate crops include crops that either do not meet the 5% price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change. Flat-rate crops are eligible for a payment of $15/acre for all acres certified to that commodity for 2020.

Here are a few imporant highlights regarding the CFAP 2 program:

  • CFAP 2 sign-up will remain open until Dec. 11, 2020.
  • Farmers may apply by working directly with their local FSA office or online through the CFAP 2 Application Portal.
  • To be eligible for payment, farmers must first certify 2020 crop acreage with their county FSA office.
  • Farmers are eligible for payments equal to $15/acre.
  • Payments are limited to alfalfa grown for hay or seed (fields are eligible as long as the percentage of ground cover is 60% or greater of alfalfa).
  • A payment limitation of $250,000/person or legal entity applies.

Additional information, including a list of frequently asked questions and an eligible commodities list can be found by visiting farmers.gov/cfap.

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Cattle on Pasture Cause Weaker Round Bale Hay Market in Mid-November
Fae Holin, MFA Communication Specialist

Dairy-quality hay demand continued, but a mid-November weakness in round bale hay was seen when farmers took advantage of putting cattle on pastures before winter snows appear, according to the Nov. 23 Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest.

Upper Midwestern average prices, by quality, show prime alfalfa hay (greater than 151 RFV/RFQ) prices of $199/ton for large squares, $145/ton for large rounds, and $258/ton for small squares. Grade 1 (125-150 RFV/RFQ) large squares averaged $168/ton; large rounds, $130/ton; and small squares, $196/ton. Grade 2 (103-124 RFV/RFQ) large squares priced at $135/ton; large rounds, $111/ton, and small squares, $130/ton. Grade 3 (87-102 RFV/RFQ) large squares averaged $98/ton; large rounds, $76/ton. Click here for the complete article.

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Comment Deadline for Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program Extended

Farmers, ranchers and others now have until Dec. 21 to make opinions and comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) will review all comments and determine what recommendations should be implemented for the 2022 crop year.

“We want to be sure we get enough feedback from producers and other stakeholders on these proposed improvements, so we’re extending the comment deadline,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “These comments will help us fine tune the PRF program to ensure its integrity and protect producers and help them manage their risk.” Click here for the complete article.

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In the News: Tar Spot in Minnesota, CRP Signup Dates, Corn Stalk Bale Value, Alfalfa Variety Ratings Guide

Tar spot development and spread in Minnesota corn fields may have been suppressed due to dry weather in parts of southern Minnesota this past summer, but the disease has spread to 11 counties in 2020. It was first found in the state in four counties in 2019, says Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota Plant Pathologist, in the Minnesota Crop News article, “Tar spot of corn continued to spread in Minnesota in 2020.” The article includes information on tar spot symptoms and management.

Signup for USDA’s general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be open from Jan. 4 to Feb. 12, 2021. For CRP Grasslands, signup will run from March 15 to April 23, 2021. Both programs are competitive and provide annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes, according to a Nov. 12 USDA press release.

Breaking down costs can help determine the true value of corn stalk bales. So says Ben Beckman, University of Nebraska Extension Educator, in the Nov. 1 BeefWatch newsletter article, "Valuing Corn Stalk Bales." The article details those costs.

The National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance’s 2021 edition of its annual alfalfa variety ratings guide is available online at alfalfa.org. Find the publication under the education heading. It lists ratings for varieties for fall dormancy, winter survival, and disease and pest survivability. A searchable alfalfa variety database is also available under the education heading.

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Get Amazon Smile to Donate to MFA

If you haven’t already designated the Midwest Forage Association as your charitable organization when buying off Amazon, it’s a great time to do so. Amazon allows for 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to go to MFA – without any expense to you. Just use our unique link; you'll go to smile.amazon.com and be asked if you want to support Midwest Forage Association. That link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/41-1297372.

Donations come from the Amazon Smile Foundation, and you can make your purchases just as you have been through amazon.com. The site will even keep track of how much of a donation is being made through your purchases! For more information, click here.

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Take Advantage of MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database

As an MFA member, one of the most valuable resources at your disposal is MFA's "Members-Only" Research Database, a one-stop-shop for all of your forage research needs. MFA's Research Database features every Clippings and Forage Focus research article, as well as each MFRP final report. You can also change and personalize your password after signing in. Proceedings (and videos where appropriate) will also be archived a year after the meeting date. Your user name and password can be found on your MFA membership card or by contacting the MFA office at mfa@midwestforage.org.

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2020 Sponsors
 
Platinum Level - $10,000
CROPLAN By Winfield United
Gold Level - $5,000
Alfalfa Partners - a brand of S&W Co.
BASF
DEKALB
HarvXtra – a brand of FGI
Silver Level - $2,500

Alforex Seeds
Dairyland Laboratories
Dairyland Seed Co.
La Crosse Seed
Pioneer
Rock River Laboratory

Bronze Level - $1,500
Ag-Bag by RCI
Eisentraut Ag Services - ROC
Harvest Tec
Lallemand Animal Nutrition
Promote, Cargill's additives brand
Allied Level - $500
Agassiz Seed & Supply
Albert Lea Seed House
Alltech
Barenbrug USA
Byron Seeds
CLAAS of America
Country Visions Cooperative
CP Feeds
Delmhorst Instrument
DHIA Laboratories
Gruett's
Hay & Forage Grower
Innovative Forage Solutions
Investors Community Bank
John Deere
Jordan Ag Supply
Krone NA
Kuhn North America
Landoll
Legacy Seeds
Meyer Manufacturing
Mountain View Seeds
New Holland
Poettinger US
Riesterer & Schnell
SEMA Equipment
Swiderski Equipment
Taunton & Meyer CPA
Vanderloop Equipment
Vermeer
Vincent, Urban, Walker & Associates, Inc.
Vita Plus
Midwest Forage Association - 4630 Churchill St #1 - St. Paul, MN 55126
651-484-3888 - mfa@midwestforage.org - www.midwestforage.org
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