Very little hay is available to buy in parts of Missouri, reports Tom Hansen, University of Missouri extension agronomy specialist. "Most people who have hay are hanging onto it. Hay is going to be short is some areas. There is very little pasture because it hasn't rained in several weeks. We don't have our normal stockpiled fescue supplies either."

Hay production was spotty throughout the state this year. Some parts got enough summer rain to get bumper crops of alfalfa and other hays. "The Western Plains to the Boot Heel were dry and are short on hay," Hansen says. Missouri producers started out the year with very little hay in the barn because of the 2006 drought. "Livestock producers were feeding hay already in July of 2006," Hansen says.

He anticipates an increase in alfalfa acres next year in response to increased nitrogen fertilizer prices. "The horse population is growing too, and horse owners are more willing to pay top dollar for good-quality hay. This is driving an increase in demand for horse hay," Hansen says.

Contact Hansen at 417-862-9284.


Pennsylvania hay producers had a good production year overall in spite of dry conditions in some areas. "There was not much surplus hay going into fall," says Marvin Hall, Penn State extension forage specialist. "If you had asked me how things were going in August, I would have said we were in trouble. But we had some good moisture and extra growth this fall. We had good fall production and got some nice late-fall cuttings."

Hall suspects that Pennsylvania hay acres may decrease next year as producers switch to corn to take advantage of high corn prices.

Contact Hall at 814-863-1019.