As long as pastures stay green, hay prices in Maryland will range around $4-6/bale.

“If the grass starts getting brown, the price of hay will go up a little bit,” notes Nevin Tasto, owner and auctioneer at the Westminster Hay Auction in New Windsor.

Right now, prices are similar to what they were last year at this time. At Westminster’s Aug. 4 auction, small squares of timothy hay were priced up to $5.50/bale. Mixed-grass small squares sold for around $5.25/bale and straw went for $2-3.50/bale. Large round bales of orchardgrass sold for $32.50 each.

The past few weeks, small square bales of good-quality timothy, as well as timothy-grass and alfalfa-grass mixes, averaged $4-6 each. Mediocre, rained-on hay fetched $2.50-4/bale.

“All summer long, we’ve had a good bit of rain,” Tasto says. “It was real hard to get good hay dry and get it baled without any rain.”

Growers who put up high-quality hay likely moved their bales straight to barns, he says. “I know they’re saving their better hay for a little later. I’m sure it’s going to get up to $7-8/bale in the fall and winter.”

Westminster hay and straw auctions are held on Mondays beginning at 10 a.m. Contact Tasto at 410-374-4067.