Lower-than-expected December-through-April feeding has resulted in 6% more hay remaining on U.S. farms than at this time last year, despite lower amounts on hand going into the winter feeding period.

In its May 11 Crop Production report, USDA estimates May 1 hay stocks at 22.2 million tons compared with 20.9 tons on the same date last year. Disappearance from Dec. 1, 2010, to May 1, 2011, totaled 79.9 million tons compared with 86.3 million tons during the same period a year ago.

Compared with last year, hay stocks increased in much of the nation’s midsection and were down throughout much of the western half of the U.S. and along the Atlantic Coast. States reporting the largest percentage increases include Iowa, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

The largest percentage declines occurred in California, Idaho and Nevada, and significant declines are also reported for Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah.