With this year’s slow harvest start, it’s hard to get a handle on what to charge for crop, says eastern Texas grower Robert Hicks.
“We haven’t had a lot of sales to go on just yet, but it’s always a little slow this time of the year,” he says. “Everybody is speculating on what the supply is going to be as we go through the summer and how that’s likely to affect the price.”
Hicks puts up ryegrass and bermudgrass hay in 4 x 5’ round bales averaging 900 lbs each on 800 acres near Alto. Most of his annual production is marketed to beef producers within 400 miles of his farm, but 10-15% is sold to the horse market.
He finished ryegrass harvest earlier this month and estimates a first bermudagrass cutting before the end of the month. Both crops looked good coming out of the winter. “We’re okay on moisture right now. But here we figure we’re never more than two weeks away from a drought. We need about an inch of rain a week through the season to get a good crop.”
As the season starts, Hicks is pricing ryegrass at $40-50/roll, depending on quality. For his bermudagrass, he’ll charge $60-65/roll. “That’s about the same as it was last year. If it turns dry on us, prices could shoot up. But, as a grower, I’d rather have the production. If the crop is short, you can’t get enough for your hay to offset the expense of making it.”
To contact Hicks, call 936-554-9898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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