With drought in full force, expect predictions of higher prices for California hay from market analyst Seth Hoyt next Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Forage Seminars at World Ag Expo.

“Oh, how the alfalfa hay market outlook has changed in California from when I spoke at the Western Alfalfa Hay Symposium in Reno in mid-December,” wrote Hoyt in his Jan. 31 online newsletter, The Hoyt Report.

“I said, if it didn’t rain, ‘all bets were off’ on my price predictions and that is where things stand. The hay market fundamentals in California are bullish in the face of drought, record high milk prices, and the fear of less wheat and corn silage production. The challenge in predicting markets in this environment is that we are in territory we have never seen before, record drought.” (To check his mid-December forecast, read, “Western Alfalfa Hay Prices To Dip.”)

Growers, he says, are questioning when or whether to contract their cuttings, and one has turned down a $235 f.o.b. stack offer on the first two cuttings of Imperial Valley crop.

“I’m not sure what price it would take to contract the first two cuttings in Imperial Valley, or if growers are even interested in contracting, but it appears that it may take at least $240 with good terms. I think it is possible that supreme alfalfa hay (not high-testing) could deliver to Tulare from $300 to $310, which would put the early supreme alfalfa hay in the central Valley in the $270 to $280 f.o.b. range. This is higher than my prediction of $245 to $260 in mid-December.”

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Hoyt will lead off the forage program at 10 a.m. the first day of the Feb. 11-13 World Ag Expo at the International Agri Center in Tulare, CA.

At 11 a.m., five top production practices to improve alfalfa yield and profitability will be presented by Steve Orloff, Siskiyou County, CA, farm advisor.

Afternoon sessions will include tips on adjusting harvesting equipment for increased quality and a panel discussion of Shredlage, a new method of corn silage processing.

The event is sponsored by Hay & Forage Grower and Mycogen Seeds. For more information, visit www.worldagexpo.com.

Read more from Hay & Forage Grower:

Is An Acreage Comeback Looming For Alfalfa?

High Freight Costs Hinder Northwestern Hay Exports

Alfalfa Gets $1.35 Million In Federal Research Funding