A lot of low-quality hay is available in parts of the Midwest, says Dale Leslein, hay auction manager for Dyersville Sales Co., Dyersville, IA. "Here in the Tri-State Area we still have a severe glut of hay, all of it low quality for the grinding or stock-cow market," he reports. "Most big square bales did get shipped out to Southern states, but round bales are piled just about everywhere. With prices depressed, I expect a lot of hay to be plowed up this spring and planted to corn. Locally, hay prices have to triple to compete with $4 corn and that's why everyone is cutting back or getting out of the hay business. I have talked to few, if any, farmers who plan to sow new alfalfa acres this year."

Most of the grinding hay in round bales is $40-60/ ton, he says. "Top-end dairy hay is generally nowhere to be found, and is very high-priced at up to $175/ton," Leslein notes. "Locally, I talked with the largest hay and forage implement dealer and he said sales are down sharply this year."

Contact Leslein at Dyersville Auction Co. at 563-875-2481 or visit www.dyersvillesales.com/content/hay_auction.html.