After a slow start to the 2012-13 winter auction season, the volume of hay moving through the twice-a-month Boone County Hay Auction near Lebanon, IN, is picking up.

“Up until January, we were lucky to have 500-800 (small square bales) selling at each sale,” says auction owner-manager Denny Cunningham. “But at our mid-February sale, we sold more than 2,300 bales of hay and straw. It was the second-biggest sale we’ve had in the two years we’ve been here.”

Hay demand has been strong, what with last year’s dry weather crimping area production. Buyers have been coming in from a 100-mile radius of the auction site. “We’ve had more buyers than sellers at most of the sales,” says Cunningham. “But given what we’ve seen at the last couple of sales, it looks like there is still a fair amount of hay out there.”

Hay sold in a range of $3-7.20/bale at the mid-February sale. The range on straw prices was $1.25-2.60/bale. Grass-alfalfa hay brought the strongest demand, says Cunningham. “We have a fair number of horse people at each sale, and that’s the kind of hay they usually want.”

The Boone County Hay Auction will be held on the first and third Saturdays of the month through the next several months. After that, hay volume will determine whether sales continue on a twice-a-month schedule or drop back to just one each month. For a tentative schedule, click here.

To contact Cunningham, call 765-482-4120 or email