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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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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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Monthly alfalfa hay exports dipped below 200,000 metric tons (MT) in September, just the third time that’s happened in the past 17 months. Despite the slight downturn, year-to-date 2017 alfalfa hay export sales topped 2 million MT and remain well on their way to a new record annual high.

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It’s the fourth quarter of 2017, and the forage harvest season is starting to wind down. Here’s a look back at prices and marketing conditions.

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