First-cut dairy hay, testing 150-160 relative feed value, brought $210-230/ton at a recent auction, says Barry McRae, owner and manager of Valley Video Hay Markets and HayTime Auctions in Torrington, WY.

That’s about $20/ton higher than last year’s price at this time, he estimates.

“It looks nice, and there’s been excellent demand for it. It’s been going to the Kansas, Iowa and Indiana areas.”

The feeder-hay market from Wyoming and western Nebraska to states south dried up when those states ran into wet weather.

“When it’s dry, we ship a lot of our hay to the South,” McRae says. “We had lots of orders early to go to Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. But in the last six weeks, they’ve all had 9” of rain.”

As a result, customers are sticking closer to home for feeder-hay supplies, and auction prices have slipped to about $130/ton, he says.

Wyoming has received sufficient rains in recent weeks and that bodes well for upcoming cuttings, McRae says. “We’re looking forward to an excellent hay crop the rest of the way.”

At the July 9 Valley Video Internet Timed Hay Auction, good-quality, 4 x 4’ bales of alfalfa sold at prices ranging from $205 to $225/ton. Good-quality alfalfa in 3 x 4’ bales sold for $216/ton and 3 x 3’ bales sold for $160-171/ton.

Fair-quality alfalfa in 3 x 4’ bales brought $131-134/ton, and alfalfa large rounds sold for $127-130/ton. Utility-quality alfalfa in 3 x 3’ bales sold for $100/ton.

The next Internet auction will be held July 23-24.

To contact McRae, call 888-935-3633 or email b.mcrea@charter.net.