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Hay marketers had plenty of USDA numbers to contemplate as 2018 got underway. U.S. alfalfa exports continue at a record pace, year-end data showed a smaller 2017 hay harvest, new acres seeded to alfalfa in 2017 were the lowest in a decade, and on-farm hay inventories entering winter were the smallest in years.

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Growing-season drought in some major hay-producing states, increased hay exports and large numbers of forage-consuming cattle in the nation’s beef and dairy herds resulted in the smallest on-farm hay inventories entering winter since 2012, according to the USDA’s Crop Production report, released Jan. 12.

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Most Progressive Forage readers do not raise or use GMO alfalfa.

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Cembrit introduces corrugated roofing sheets to the U.S.

Danish company Cembrit has introduced their high-density fiber cement (HDFC) corrugated roofing sheets to the U.S. ag market. The 4-by-8-foot sheets of 2-inch corrugations are known as Cemsix and are installed with self-tapping screws.

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Northwest alfalfa and timothy producers should remain slightly profitable in 2018, according to the latest Northwest Farm Credit Services’ Hay Market Snapshot report. Exports favor strong alfalfa sales, but low dairy profitability will provide sturdy headwinds.

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