Prospective Plantings – 2023 Hay AcreageProspective Plantings – 2023 Hay Acreage
Will hay acreage be above the 2021 mark?
April 12, 2023
Most of the attention from the USDA's Prospective Plantings report has been on corn and soybeans and the effects on feed prices.The report also includes updates about hay acreage, which are worth discussing, given our tight hay supplies over the past few years.
First, it is worth mentioning that the data in the Planting Intentions report is just that, producer intentions. Expect revisions from USDA as we get further into the year. Specifically, revisions in the June and September reports from USDA. Final acreage estimates are in the January Crop Production Summary. So, there is still lots of time before we definitively know what crop production will be for the 2023-2024 marketing year.
USDA estimates total 2023 hay acreage at 50.645 million acres. This would be 2% above the 2022 total of 49.546 million acres but still below 2021 hay acreage. USDA’s estimate for 2023 hay acreage in Arkansas is 1.130 million acres or 3% higher year over year. Estimates for total hay acreage include 620 thousand acres in Mississippi, 5% higher than the 2022 total and about even with the 2021 total. USDA estimates Kentucky hay acreage at 2.080 million acres, a 2% increase compared to last year.
Noticeable declines include Kansas (down 4%) and Iowa (down 11%). USDA expects total hay acreage in Texas, the largest hay-producing state, to increase by 15% to 4.8 million acres. What is surprising is even with a 15% increase in hay acreage, Texas would still be 800 thousand acres short of the 2021 total of 5.6 million acres.
Acreage is only part of the equation. Hay production equals acreage times yield. Hay yields will be impacted by growing conditions this summer. Inputs are expected to decline from the high in 2022. It is still too early to tell, but the cattle industry needs a good year of hay production.
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