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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

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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U.S. average alfalfa hay prices pushed to their highest levels in three years. Interest rates and fuel costs are on the rise, too. Harvest in some major hay areas was just getting underway due to weather-related delays. Here’s a look at the hay market with summer just around the corner.

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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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