Wet summer weather continues to hinder alfalfa hay growers in north-central Ohio. “Ordinarily, most people here would be wrapping up third cutting by now,” says Jason Hartschuh, Crawford County ag agent for Ohio State University Extension. “But with all the rain we’ve had, a lot of guys are still working on that second cutting.”

Buyers don’t appear to be in panic, Hartschuh says. “There’s not a lot of scrambling going on at this point. If you’re someone who needs lower-quality hay, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. The tonnage is there this year.

“If you need higher-quality hay and work with suppliers, you should probably be thinking about getting in touch with them soon and contracting for what you’re going to need. Or you should be thinking about what other alternative forages might be available to you to adjust your rations.”

While regional alfalfa prices have backed off from last winter’s peaks, they’re still favorable to growers, he reports. Low- to medium-quality alfalfa is currently bringing $150-200/ton compared to $250-325 earlier in the year.  Premium alfalfa, which topped out at around $400/ton during the winter, can now be had for $250-300.

“If you’re a grower who has been able to put up some high-quality alfalfa this summer, you’re still looking at a pretty good price,” he says.

Hartschuh can be contacted at 419-562-8731 or hartschuh.11@osu.edu.

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