Progressive Forage Feed
Capturing more at Alturas Ranches
Alfalfa hay is the bread and butter of Alturas Ranches in northeast California – but what’s made the ranch a stalwart in the California hay industry might be a mindset bent on continual improvement.
Alfalfa Checkoff: Research Project: Developing high-yielding, high-quality alfalfa varieties and cropping systems for high-salinity conditions
This project was undertaken starting in 2009 in an effort to seek better varieties that will sustain yields and perhaps even thrive when grown under saline conditions. Salinity is a major challenge for alfalfa growers in irrigated regions and even in many non-irrigated regions.
Making a profit with low prices
On the surface, agricultural profitability looks dismal for 2019 – corn and especially soybean prices are down; milk price is low; and while beef prices look steady from 2018, supply is high.
Farmland values: Who’s selling, who’s buying
I have been in this business for over 50 years and, other than the mid-’80s, when land (due to an agricultural economic financial crisis) had to be sold through foreclosure, most land sells because multiple family members have inherited the land and, due to various reasons, opt to sell the farm.
Hay: How’s your sustainability?
The last four years, I’ve served as the director of the USDA U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center (USDFRC) in Madison, Wisconsin.
Institutional investments in livestock ventures
In a white paper co-authored by HighQuest Partners and Julie Koeninger (2017), the authors summarize in their opening sentence, “Over the past three decades, farmland investing has grown exponentially from a ‘niche’ investment dominated by a few large pension plans and insurance companies to a mainstream institutional real asset class that increasingly can be accessed by retail-oriented investors.”