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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

It’s the time of year when all three spirits of the hay year come into view: past (production), present (stocks) and future (markets). For now, it’s the export market that’s likely causing the most sleepless nights.

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Government policies on both sides of the globe have altered the U.S. hay export picture. But despite the substantial decline in alfalfa hay shipments to China, September exports were the highest since June, totaling more than 229,250 metric tons (MT).

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Depending on location and market, October is frequently a time to determine whether the haying season will be a sweet success.

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A look at crop/weather maps helps tell the story as the 2018 hay production season winds down in many areas. Continuing drought in the Southwest affected quantity, while widespread rain elsewhere impacted quality and prices.

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The “dog days” of summer generally create a weather-driven hay market, with all eyes on harvest quality and yield. This year, however, the markets have additional bones to chew on – trade wars and a lingering weak dairy economy.

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Reacting to higher hay prices – fueled by diminishing stocks and strong export demand – U.S. hay growers intend to harvest dry hay from more acreage in 2018, according to the USDA’s Acreage report, released June 29.

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