Alfalfa prices throughout New Mexico are strong, reports Justin Boswell, executive director of the New Mexico Hay Association.

Small bales of alfalfa sell in the $285/ton range, while good-quality large bales average about $255/ton, he says.

“Good-grade hay is moving just as quick as guys can put it up.”

After rains hit much of New Mexico the last week of July, the resulting lower-quality, rained-on hay isn’t selling well, he says. The past couple years, even damaged hay sold well.

“I suspect as we get a little further into the year that we’ll start seeing some of that come out of the barns and off the fields.”

Boswell expects prices to remain steady in the coming months, but he’s not sure what’s going to happen after that.

“It’s always worrisome when you see corn prices taking a nosedive. You start to worry that the hay is going to come down into the future.”

Continuing strong prices in the state can in part be attributed to increased hay demand from Texas dairies. Boswell says dry conditions in Colorado and Oklahoma the past few years have forced Texas buyers to find other hay suppliers.

“It’s opened up new markets for us,” he says. “I know out of the Pecos Valley we shipped a lot more hay to Texas dairies last year than we have in previous years.”

The horse-hay market, he adds, will likely remain steady. “I think they’re willing to pay what they’ve been paying.”

Contact Boswell at 575-840-9908 or juboswel@yahoo.com.