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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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After a mild start, winter finally arrived about the time groundhogs were poking their heads out of holes in search of an early spring. What they saw were lots of roughage-consuming animals to feed.

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From supply and demand, weather and shipping challenges to distribution of government assistance payments and pandemic vaccines, there was no shortage of issues affecting hay markets and marketers – directly or indirectly – as the new year got underway.

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The early December hay market contained a little bit naughty and a little bit nice. Average prices and exports inched up, but areas impacted by drought grew. 

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The hay season is transitioning from harvesting to feeding and/or marketing, as the calendar changes to early November. Marketers reported a noticeable increase in buyer interest, as winter needs came into focus. Here’s a look at post-election-day hay market conditions.

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October brought the USDA’s first harvest estimates for the 2020 haying season. Highlighting numbers of note, U.S. acreage devoted to alfalfa and alfalfa mixture hay continued a long-term trend lower, while average yields of other hay maintained a small but steady increase.

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As a kid, one of my summer rituals was to check out the bale counter each night to see how many small bales of alfalfa we put up that day. For a numbers geek like me, once in a while something catches my eye and forces a deeper look. Such is the case with the USDA’s summary of July 2020 hay exports.

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