Idaho hay fields suffered from a hot, dry summer and not just because of a drought, says Glenn Shewmaker, University of Idaho extension forage specialist. A number of fires that burned extensive amounts of rangeland will impact forage availability for two to three years. "Livestock will not be turned out on those areas for several years, depending on weather conditions. Long-term it looks like the demand for hay will be strong."
This year, says Shewmaker, "there has been pretty good production on irrigated acres with above-normal yields, but the demand is even higher. This has resulted in near-record prices."
Contact Shewmaker at 208-736-3608.
It was a good summer for making hay and tonnage is up, reports Ervin Gara III, owner of Wyoming Haybusters, Torrington. "The price was pretty high in March, April, May and June, but has gone down some lately," he says. "Last year you could name your own price for hay. Cow hay is going for around $90/ton and up right now." He has been getting calls for hay from Ohio and Missouri.
A freeze went through his area in mid-May, causing extensive damage to corn fields. "Many people had to replant corn," notes Gara, who bales around 15,000 tons of alfalfa in 4 x 4 x 8' bales for the dairy and beef markets.
Contact Gara at 307-532-4558