Frequent precipitation since the start of the year has Bellwood, NE, hay grower John Wood feeling good about the upcoming growing season.

“We had an open and dry fall, and by the end of the year it looked like the drought was starting to creep north,” he says. “Our area was starting to show up on the Palmer (Drought) Index as a potential trouble spot. In the last six weeks or so, though, we’ve been getting some moisture. Now it looks like those new seedings will have a good chance of succeeding. For now anyway, I’m optimistic about the yield prospects.”

Wood grows 400 acres of alfalfa along with corn and soybeans. Dairies in Nebraska and beyond are his primary market. He’s toying with the idea of bumping up his hay acreage by 20% or so this year.

“It looks like the strong demand for good hay may continue,” he says. “Also, input costs for some of the row crops seem to be going up at a faster clip than the inputs for alfalfa. The profit margin on hay might be a little better.”

To contact Wood, call 402-367-2039 or email