The Future of Hay Prices
High hay prices will persist.
An upward pressure on hay prices is likely until mid-June and beyond, due largely to extremely low production in 2011, the lowest December 1 hay stocks in 23 years and an ongoing shortfall in alfalfa seedings, say hay marketing experts.
“Prices will hold closer to this year’s levels once we get into the 2012 new crop than to the price levels we saw in 2010,” says South Dakota State University agriculture economist Matt Diersen.
In its January Crop Production report, the USDA estimated 2011 national alfalfa production at 65.3 million tons, up 1% from its Oct. 1 estimate but 4% less than the amount produced in 2010. It was the lowest U.S. alfalfa production total since 1959.