Hay sales are going gangbusters at Mitchell Livestock Auction’s new weekly hay sale in Mitchell, SD.

“For every load of hay coming in, we have 10 people waiting to bid on it,” says auction co-owner Don Stange. “We’ve also been selling a lot of baled cornstalks.”

Stange’s company has been holding livestock sales at Mitchell for five years. The weekly hay sales started in early January. “We’ve never had hay sales before. Because of the drought, a lot of our customers were having a tough time finding feed. We wanted to see if we could get some hay in here and help them stay in business,” he says.

The auction is attracting 10-15 loads of hay a week. Most hay is coming from within a 100-mile radius of the sale barn, but some loads are also coming in from North Dakota.

In recent weeks, round bales of good grass hay have been selling for $200-220/ton. Alfalfa hay – mostly round bales but also some large squares – has been fetching $250-300/ton depending on quality. Baled cornstalks have been bringing $110-120/ton.

Look for hay prices to stay strong in the months ahead, Stange says. “There just isn’t enough hay out there to meet demand. The market will stay really good until we get a new hay crop. And there is no old crop hay to draw off anywhere. Everything has been used up. It wouldn’t surprise me to see hay prices stay high throughout the year.”

Tuesday hay sales start at 1 p.m. For more information, call 605-996-6543 or visit the company website.