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JRfrom OR
Frequent Contributor

Western Hay Crop

The alfalfa crop over large parts of the west are very short this year, due to low last years prices and an unusually cold spring and  summer.  My own crop was down at least a third from normal, and the smallest yield I've ever seen.  Export markets have been strong, moving a lot of hay out of the country.  It appears that we'll be seeing some real scambling for alfalfa this winter.

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5 Replies
Rob SC NE
Contributor

Re: Western Hay Crop

Thanks for the reprt, JR. It's interesting to hear what's happening in other parts of the country with the hay situation. Sorry you have it tough this year.

 

What kinds of prices are you seeing for alfalfa there now?

 

Rob

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JRfrom OR
Frequent Contributor

Re: Western Hay Crop

In the Klamath Basin, on the Or., Ca. border, top hay has sold for $170 to $175 for export, I understand some going to China for the first time.  The domestic dairy trade has been slow and at lower prices.  Much of the best has been sold to go overseas.  Guys in my area now are trying to hold for higher prices to compensate somewhat for lower tonnages.

 

 

 

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jrsiajdranch
Veteran Advisor

Re: Western Hay Crop

JR what ws the RFV on that hay?  Have the dairy customers been able to stay current on the payment for hay?  What is an acceptable yield on your hay?  Thanks JR

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JRfrom OR
Frequent Contributor

Re: Western Hay Crop

JR   The first cutting that sold for those prices was very good, cut short and grew slowly because of the cold weather. Most of this hay would test in the 56 to 58 TDN range, 20 t0 23% protien, on a 90% dry matter basis.  Hay from this area is usually graded this way to accomidate the large dairy industry in Calif.  

 

The dairies have been struggling in this area, the west, as I'm guess they are back there.  Over last year, some of my buyers' dairy accounts ran to over 90 days behind, one buyer went banckupt.  Of course they've recovered somewhat this year only to now be hit with higher grain prices, a record  low alfalfa crop and large competing export demand.  It also looks like in the bid for acres next year, that hay acreage could lose considerably here, although a lot of this high desert region of Nevada and eastern Oregon and Washington is good only for alfalfa.

 

I'd say an average yield here is maybe 5.5 to 6 tons on established stands.  While we're now on our 3rd cutting, we won't average over 4 tons this year.   Best, JR

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jrsiajdranch
Veteran Advisor

Re: Western Hay Crop

Wow that is some good hay!  I thought your yields would be higher, but I guess your elevation there does dictate how the stuff grows.  Yea the dairy suppliers have had it real tuff also. 

The export mkt. is really heating up.  I heard India is building very large dairies or encouraging investors to build there. one such builder is Verba hoff's  they had many farms go broke here in the US this last year but now they are building dairies over in india and importing the feed needs like DDG's and alfalfa to provide the feed. China is doing the same. Raw milk is very hard to import/export and the powdered produsts have limited uses back into food grade products therefore the push in the world for milk manufacturing capasity.  The trend will continue I guess. JR

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