Hay supplies are very tight in parts of Kansas, reports Steve Hessman, Kansas Department of Agriculture-USDA Agricultural Marketing Service reporter. "There is going to be very little carryover of alfalfa, and I would say zero carryover on grass hays," Hessman says. "Brome and bluestem are going to be gone." Some livestock producers needed more feed than they had anticipated because the winter was more extreme than the state had seen in several years.
"Producers in eastern Kansas have come up shorter (on forages) than producers in the western part of the state," he says. "What saved the guys in the west was a huge sudan, millet and cane crop. Some of that got planted last year on failed wheat acres, some got planted on corn that got hailed out. Some planted it because they didn't have moisture to plant a milo or soybean crop on dryland acres. That has been a lifesaver to the livestock producers out here."
It doesn't look like hay prices will start coming down anytime soon, says Hessman. "Normally, when you have high hay prices, they stay that way until you get into production. Once the supply line starts filling up, the prices start backing off. I don't think we will see prices soften much the way things are looking, because of the high grain prices.
"I don't look for as many forages, such as oat hay or sudans and canes, to be planted this year because of these high grain prices," he says. "Where producers have good moisture, I expect many to plant a grain crop and take advantage of those high prices."
Hessman says southeastern Kansas is dry, especially counties bordering Oklahoma. Western Kansas is the wettest, with northeastern Kansas and north-central Kansas reporting fair moisture.
Contact Hessman at 620-227-8881.