Tight Hay Supplies Point To Higher Prices

The Oct. 19 USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report shows U.S. hay supplies are likely to be fairly tight and expensive this winter

The Oct. 19 USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report shows U.S. hay supplies are likely to be fairly tight and expensive this winter, particularly if a more-normal winter develops following last year's mild one. Hay production was forecast at 147 million tons this year, down 2.4% from the 2005 total. May 1 hay stocks were down 23%, and dry conditions in many areas forced hay feeding this past summer.

The September farm price of other hay averaged $93/ton, up from $78.90 a year ago. The alfalfa hay price averaged $112/ton, up from $106 in September 2005.

The report says pasture conditions continue a modest recovery, but favorable temperatures and moisture are still needed to accumulate much-needed growth for winter grazing. Wheat and other small grain pasture grazing potential are still very uncertain, as they were last fall, although recent moisture will help.
-- eHay Weekly