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Hay Market Reports

What affected hay market prices last month? Why? Find out some facts in these monthly reports and charts.

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Winter arrived early in some parts of the country, and combined with the resurgence of China in the export market, the demand side of the forage market appears to be heating up. While forage quantity might not be the pressure point, quality almost certainly will be.

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Whether it’s harvest quantity or quality related to weather, slumping prices or uncertainty over trade and export markets, there are plenty of factors to play out for forage producers, marketers and buyers entering the final quarter of 2019. Here’s a brief look at conditions as the third quarter came to a close.

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The biggest question emerging from the 2019 forage growing season in many parts of the country concerns quality, whether it’s dry hay, haylage or corn silage. Plentiful supplies of lower-quality forage are pressuring prices, but buyers seem willing to pay for quality – if they can find it.

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While growing season weather’s impact on yield and quality test scores is a primary standard, school is still out on a few extracurriculars – like tariff wars and a dairy recovery – yet to determine hay markets entering autumn.

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With spring planting either delayed or prevented, the USDA’s Crop Acreage report left plenty of questions yet to be answered in 2019. One thing we did learn from the report was that U.S. hay acreage could be at its lowest in 111 years.

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The cool, extremely wet spring lingered into early June, putting planting season well behind schedule and delaying hay growers from taking a first cutting.

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