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USDA Crop Production


12 January 2012

USDA Crop Production: US Hay Stocks on Farms Down 11 PercentUSDA Crop Production: US Hay Stocks on Farms Down 11 Percent

Hay stocks decreased across much of the Nation's midsection. In most cases, these decreases were attributed to an unusually dry year that negatively impacted hay production.
USDA Crop Production Report

December Agricultural Summary

Temperatures from the northern Rocky Mountains to the Southeast and along the Atlantic Coast were well above average during December, giving producers in many areas additional time to complete late-season fieldwork. Most notably, portions of Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota recorded temperatures more than 10 degrees above normal. Elsewhere, fruit and vegetable producers across much of California ran freeze protection late in the month as temperatures dropped into the upper 20s in major producing areas.

Precipitation was well above normal for much of the Corn Belt, Four Corners region, southern Great Plains, and Ohio Valley during the month. In Ohio, topsoil moisture levels were reported as 86 per cent surplus on 11 December, leaving producers with corn or soybeans still in the fields waiting until the ground froze to continue harvesting their crops.

Late-season row crop harvesting continued in many southern States throughout December, but was mostly complete as the month ended. In Arizona, small grain producers were busy seeding barley and Durum wheat, with nearly half and over one-quarter of the crops in the ground, respectively. Fruit and vegetable producers in the major producing States harvested and shipped a variety of crops throughout the month, with replanting ongoing as conditions allowed.

Hay stocks on farms

All hay stored on farms 1 December 2011 totaled 90.7 million tons, down 11 per cent from a year ago. This is the lowest 1 December stocks on hand for the United States since 1988. Disappearance from 1 May 2011-1 Decmeber 2011 totaled 62.6 million tons, compared with 64.4 million tons for the same period a year ago.

Compared with last year, hay stocks decreased across much of the Nation’s midsection. In most cases, these decreases were attributed to an unusually dry year that negatively impacted hay production, as well as pasture and rangeland. Many producers began feeding livestock early to help offset the lack of available feedstuffs.

Stocks on hand were the lowest since 1985 in Oklahoma and Texas, two States that were hit hardest by this year’s prolonged drought.

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