Buyers who can find the high-quality hay they need are paying more and more for it this winter. In many states, prices have strengthened by $5-10/ton in the past month, and are running significantly above year-ago levels. The highest prices are in California and Texas; the lowest, in South Dakota.

These prices were gathered in early January by USDA. Figures followed by (D) are delivered prices. All others are at the farm. Cube and pellet prices are bulk unless otherwise indicated.

For weekly updated hay prices, go to the “Hay Price Link” section of HayandForage.com

Horse-quality alfalfa hay: Price/ton
Colorado (northeastern) $160-220
Idaho 125-140
Kansas (southwestern) 180-215
Kansas (northwestern) 160-180
South Dakota (western) 90-100
Utah 80-120
Washington (Columbia Basin) 150-160
Wyoming 120-130
Premium-quality alfalfa hay: Price/ton
California (northern) $186 (D)
California (central) 205 (D)
California (southern) 155 (D)
Colorado (northeastern) 130-135
Colorado (San Luis Valley) 140-150
Illinois (northern) 125-150
Illinois (southern) 120-160
Iowa (Rock Valley) 100-130
Iowa (central) 120-145
Kansas (southwestern) 150-155
Kansas (northwestern) 120-130
Minnesota (southwestern) 95-105
Missouri 100-140
Montana 100-125
Nebraska (northeastern) 125-140
Nebraska (western) 100-110
Nevada 130-145
Oklahoma 150-180
Oregon (central) 140
South Dakota (western) 90-100
South Dakota (east river) 85-120
Texas (panhandle) 180-250 (D)
Utah 85-95
Virginia 175
Wyoming 100-130
Good-quality alfalfa hay: Price/ton
California (central) $125-140
California (southern) 140-145 (D)
Colorado (southwestern) 115
Idaho 90-100
Illinois 100-130
Iowa (Rock Valley) 80-98
Iowa (Maurice) 95
Iowa (central) 100
Minnesota (southwestern) 78-90
Montana 65-100
Nebraska (northeastern) 115-120
Nebraska (western) 90-100
Nevada 115-130
Oklahoma 140-160
South Dakota (western) 80-85
South Dakota (east river) 70-95
Texas (panhandle) 160-200 (D)
Texas (eastern) 160-180 (D)
Utah 65-85
Washington (Columbia Basin) 120-130
Wyoming 85-100
Fair-quality alfalfa hay: Price/ton
California (southern) $132 (D)
Idaho 85
Illinois (northern) 80-100
Illinois (southern) 80-110
Iowa (central) 55-60
Minnesota (southwestern) 65
Nebraska (northeastern) 90-110
Nevada 100-110
Texas (panhandle) 130-160 (D)
Texas (eastern) 150-160 (D)
Utah 60
Bromegrass hay Price/ton
Missouri (good to premium) $90-120
Kansas (good) 70-100
Texas (panhandle) 215 (D)
Timothy hay: Price/ton
Montana (premium) $140-150
Nevada (premium) 180-200
Washington (Columbia Basin) 140
Wyoming (premium) 175
Straw: Price/ton
Colorado (northeastern) $70-75 (D)
Idaho 40-45
Illinois 45-55
Iowa (Rock Valley) 40-60
Kansas 55-70
Montana 25-30
Nebraska (northeastern) 45-50
Nebraska (Platte Valley) 55-60
South Dakota (east river) 50-55
Washington (Columbia Basin) 50
Wyoming 50 (D)
17% Dehy alfalfa pellets: Price/ton
Kansas $160-170
Nebraska 165-170
Wyoming 174 (D)
15% Suncured alfalfa pellets: Price/ton
South Dakota $145
Alfalfa cubes: Price/ton
Utah (50-lb bags) $120-150