The amount of hay stored on farms is 30% lower than it was a year ago and the lowest since 1950, according to USDA.
In its May 11 Crop Production report, USDA estimated May 1, 2007, stocks of all hay at 14.99 million tons, down from 21.35 million tons on the same date last year. Stocks are down in 38 of the 48 states reporting states, and in most of those states, stocks were also below year-earlier levels last Dec. 1.
May 1 stocks are down dramatically in many states, including Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Oklahoma. Stocks are up in Wisconsin and in most of the northern Atlantic Coast states. Wisconsin's stocks are up 15% due to excellent hay and forage production last year. Stocks are also up in New York and Pennsylvania, which had higher production in 2006 and a mild winter.