Prices paid for prime-quality hay in small square bales were down 13% from the previous week’s $319 /ton, averaging $277/ton in the Upper Midwest. That’s according to the Aug. 24 Weekly Hay Market Demand And Price Report For The Upper Midwest from Ken Barnett, University of Wisconsin Extension educator.

Large square bales of prime hay brought an average $242/ton vs. the Aug. 17 report’s $255, and round bales of that hay dropped to $194/ton from $254/ton the previous week. Prime hay is greater than 151 relative feed value/relative forage quality (RFV/RFQ).

Grade 1 (125-150 RFV/RFQ) hay averaged $235/ton in large squares and $109 in round bales. Grade 2 (103-124 RFV/RFQ) hay brought $156/ton for large square bales and $125/ton for large rounds.

Nebraska hay prices were steady and producers were hoping to stretch supplies by chopping corn for silage. Quite a bit of hay is being imported from surrounding states. Some irrigated alfalfa fields may be cut six times this season.

Iowa hay prices were steady to $9/ton lower compared to prices of the previous week. Demand was very good with very light movement. Many producers are holding hay for winter needs.

In South Dakota, hay prices were $48/ton lower, with very good demand for all hay classes. Tight supplies are keeping the market high. The potential third-cut alfalfa yields look to be very light because of little moisture.

Alfalfa hay prices were steady in Missouri, with very good demand and a light supply. Nearly all pastures are in poor or very poor condition, making a fall rebound unlikely without extensive rain. The grass hay supply is also very tight, spurring hay movement from Southern and Southeastern states. Missouri hay growers, if buying in invasive-fire-ant quarantine areas, should be sure hay is certified free of the pest. For more information, visit here.

In southwestern Minnesota, hay prices were $13.75/ton lower than those of the previous week. Sales activity was good.

The demand for Illinois hay was good, with heavy sales activity. Prices were down $86/ton from those of the previous week.

Wisconsin offered no reports on sales activities and demand. This month’s rain and cooler temperatures helped that state’s hayfields and pastures after weeks of relentless heat stress. But the weather shift came too late to benefit corn and other crops already severely damaged.

Third-cutting hay was nearly complete and fourth cutting was 24% harvested. Quality and yield reports varied greatly. Pasture conditions ranged from 22% poor to very poor in the Northwest District to 78% poor to very poor in the Southwest District.

Because of the drought and lack of quality-tested hay auctions in Wisconsin, Barnett’s report offers two links: to the Equity Cooperative market report (go to the Lomira and Reedsville locations) and the Fennimore Livestock Exchange.

Midwestern straw prices averaged $3.20 per small square bale, $38 per large square bale and $38 per large round bale. Compared to the previous week’s prices, small square straw bales were up 29%, but large square and round bales were down 2% and 15%, respectively.