The prices for alfalfa and alfalfa-grass hay remain strong for Ohio growers able to put up quality bales, says Joe Celuch of Beagle Hill Farms, Frazeysburg.
Small bales of good-quality alfalfa and alfalfa blends run toward $10/bale compared to the typical $5-7/bale price in that part of Ohio. That translates to $400/ton, he adds.
But cool temperatures, nearly daily rain showers and a lack of wind have made hay drying nearly impossible, says Celuch.
“I haven’t made a single square bale for market yet this year,” he reports. “We usually start producing second cuttings in late June, but we’re at least three to four weeks behind. This is by far our worst year ever.”
Celuch harvests 300 acres of alfalfa, alfalfa-grass and mixed-grass hay. Most of his first cutting goes to his beef herd. The rest is typically marketed as small square bales to livestock and horse operations in the Midwest and Southeast.
Lower-quality mixed-grass hay in big square bales runs between $150 and $200/ton currently, he notes. Other sale reports are in the $100/ton-range for poor-quality hay.
Celuch won’t guess where prices will head in coming months as high-quality hay gets harder to find.
Despite the conditions, he gets calls from prospective customers every day.
“I’ve recorded four pages of hay requests on my answering machine over the past two or three weeks,” he says. “There is just no hay being made, and people are getting nervous.”
To contact Celuch, call 740-403-7203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.