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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.

LATEST

Hay shortages and delays to stand evaluation and first-crop harvest pressured regional prices higher, but weaker dairy and export demand could have an impact.

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The USDA estimated 2018 dry hay acreage at 53.7 million acres, down just 1 percent (58,000 acres) from a year ago. If realized, this will represent the second lowest total U.S. hay harvested area since 1908, behind only 2016.

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In terms of total annual value to U.S. crop producers, hay remains third (behind corn and soybeans) despite three years of lower prices and declining dry hay acreage. What will 2018 bring?

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Old Man Winter’s job performance is again being called into question, as seasonal precipitation is not improving drought conditions in many important hay-producing regions of the U.S.

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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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With the 2017 hay crop tucked away in sheds and stacks, growing-season factors take a back seat to domestic and foreign demand in driving hay prices.

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