Pacific Northwest

There isn’t much hay left in the Pacific Northwest to sell, so the market has been fairly quiet, according to Jack Getz, USDA Market News reporter in Moses Lake, WA. “People are optimistic about the coming year, but we won’t start cutting hay for another two months,” he says. Those seeking hay from now until first cutting will have a hard time finding it, he expects. Most large hay buyers, such as the region’s dairies, bought early this year, and there was just enough to meet demand. “Most sales now are to horse owners and retail buyers, and they are finding more and more suppliers are sold out,” Getz says.

He doesn’t make any predictions on the number of hay acres expected to be planted in the coming year and is looking forward to reading the National Agriculture Statistics Service Prospective Plantings report that comes out March 31.

Contact Getz at 509-765-3611.

Georgia

Hay barns are mostly empty in Georgia, says Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia extension forage specialist. Some beef producers in the state have reduced stocking rates in response to the tight feed supplies after two dry years in a row. However, it seems conditions are looking better. “We had a fair amount of moisture this winter, but some areas are still a bit behind,” Hancock states. “In the last couple of weeks we have enjoyed some significant rainfall, which has been a great blessing. A lot of our overseeded pastures with ryegrass and small grains have really perked up and are performing fairly well for us. That has saved us quite a bit in terms of feeding. Fortunately, we have been able to get enough rain to get a significant amount of growth and temperatures have been fairly mild so we have enough to graze.”

Many pastures were damaged due to overgrazing during the drought. Hancock says it’s going to take several years to rebuild pastures that were badly abused. “We’ve had a lot of discussions about how to control weeds as a result, especially in an environment of high fertilizer prices,” he states.

Contact Hancock at 706-542-1529.