Read the current Progressive Forage digital edition
advertisement

Hay crop looks smaller, mostly due to Northern Plains’ drought

Progressive Forage Editor Dave Natzke Published on 12 October 2017

USDA’s Oct. 12 Crop Production report updated the 2017 dry hay harvest picture.

Production of alfalfa and alfalfa mixture dry hay for 2017 was forecast at 56 million tons, down less than 1 percent from the August forecast and down 4 percent from 2016. Based on Oct. 1 conditions, U.S. yields are expected to average 3.27 tons per acre, down 0.18 ton from last year. Harvested area was forecast at 17.1 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but up 1 percent from 2016.

The top three states in terms of alfalfa and alfalfa mixture hay acreage, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, experienced substantial drought-related harvest declines. Average yields in those states were estimated at: Montana (1.8 tons per acre), North Dakota (1.15 tons per acre) and South Dakota (1.75 tons per acre).

In contrast, record-high yields were expected in Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska and Oregon in 2017 due to favorable growing conditions.

Production of other hay in 2017 was forecast at 75.9 million tons, down 1 percent from 2016. Based on Oct. 1 conditions, yields were expected to average 2.08 tons per acre, down 0.02 ton from the August forecast and down 0.01 ton from last year. Harvested area was forecast at 36.4 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but down less than 1 percent from 2016.

Outside of the drought-stricken states of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, most other areas experienced limited impacts from drought. As a result, Alabama, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma were expecting record-high yields.

As of Oct. 8, about 41 percent of U.S. pasture and range area was rated in good to excellent condition. Regions with the highest level of poor and very poor pasture and range conditions were in the Northern Plains, parts of New England (Maine and Vermont) and the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington).  end mark

Dave Natzke
  • Dave Natzke

  • Editor
  • Progressive Forage
  • Email Dave Natzke

Before commenting on our articles, please note our Terms for Commenting.

LATEST BLOG

LATEST NEWS