Hay supplies in eastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois have been very good to excellent, but hay is quickly disappearing, says Dale Leslein, hay auction manager at the Dyersville Hay Auction in Dyersville, IA. Supplies in southern Illinois have been wiped out by neighboring states, he says. Minnesota hay supplies are getting short in areas. “The states to the south of us are in need of hay now, and we need about all the big square bales we can find. Truckers won’t haul round bales thanks to all the Department of Transportation restrictions.”

Leslein says hay prices have increased six weeks in a row in his area, and are showing no signs of letting up. “Over the next month it should be an ideal time to unload barns. Don’t worry about there being too much hay at the auction because there is no such thing at this time, especially when it comes to big squares,” he says. “This past week, out-of-state buyers were bidding over $130/ton on big squares and several went home without hay. Local buyers should stick to round bales because they are a better value right now.”

Dyersville Hay Auctions are held at 11 a.m. CST on Wednesdays. Learn more about them at www.dyersvillesales.com/content/hay_auction.html. Contact Leslein at 563-875-2381.

Hay supplies are good in Kentucky, which had a mild early winter that allowed late-season grazing, says Tom Keene, University of Kentucky hay marketing specialist. “We had a very, very wet fall,” he says. “We had mild weather up until December and it was cooler than normal for the whole month of January. A lot of hay was made last summer. I think we will be fine in terms of hay supply because we have only really been forced to feed hay for about the last month.”

He anticipates that more corn acres will be planted in his area this year. “I don’t know how many acres that will take away from hay production,” he says. “I think hay will be a good price and will be a good commodity to have in your barn at least during the next year or so.”

Contact Keene at 859-257-3144.