First Cutting Hay Being Harvested; 2014 Drought Ongoing

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The first cutting of hay across the country is either taking place or only a few weeks away. While a large segment of the country remains in a drought situation, other areas are having good springs that bode well for getting good-quality hay out of the field. But demand is expected to be high like last year, so horse owners should make sure their hay supplier has their order early. 

The drought situation is hard not only on hay, but on pasture (which means you need more hay). While the number of cattle is at its lowest in many years (therefore not competing for pasture or hay), that won’t change the outlook for “horse” hay, which usually is a higher quality. (Although dairy hay is usually the top alfalfa grown.)

For the week ending May 23 (no report was available the week of May 30), following are average prices per ton for alfalfa and grass hays across the country from USDA Livestock, Poultry & Grain Market News. Prices vary based on grade and location, not delivered.

Please let us know if these prices are accurate for your part of the country, and let us know what you are paying for this year’s hay.

State Price/Ton

California

Alfalfa $250-$330

Meadow Grass $290-$300

Colorado

Alfalfa $250 (small square)

Alfalfa $180-$245 (large square)

Mixed Grass $250-$300 (small square)

Iowa

Alfalfa $180 (large square)

Grass $150-$190 (small square)

Kansas

Alfalfa $215-$300 (small square)

Grass $130-$150 (small square)

Minnesota

Alfalfa $180 (large square)

Grass $155 (small square)

Missouri

Alfalfa $100-$190 (small square)

Mixed Grass $40-$95 (small square)

Nebraska

Alfalfa $120-$160 (large square)

Grass $170 (small square)

Texas

Alfalfa $210-$360 (small square)

Grass $215-$220 (small square)

Washington/Oregon

Alfalfa $265 (small square)

Alfalfa $190-$250 (large square)

Orchard Grass $265 (small square)

Wyoming, W. Nebraska, and W. South Dakota

Alfalfa $160-$187 (small square)

Grass $180 (large square)