Finding buyers for the alfalfa hay they produce on 320 acres near Hamilton, ND, hasn’t posed much of a problem this fall for Bill Kemp and his brother, Greg.

“They had a lot of winterkill in those areas this year,” Kemp says of the Wisconsin and southern Minnesota dairies that buy their 3 x 3 x 8’ small squares.

“Supplies for dairy alfalfa are just plain short. And that’s been holding prices up there even for the poorer-quality hay.”

In their area, alfalfa with a relative feed value (RFV) of around 120 is selling for $150/ton at the farm gate. For hay with an RFV in the 140-150 range, Kemp Farms has been getting up to $200/ton. “The prices have been very good for the last couple of years now. It doesn’t seem very long ago that we were happy to get $85/ton for our best hay.”

The Kemps reserve some of their production each year to sell to local horse and livestock owners. In recent years, they’ve also been making some sales to dairies in Texas. “There’s a lot of equipment being moved from Texas to the oil fields in the western part of our state,” he says. “Once they deliver there, the truckers head this way looking for hay to backhaul. It’s led to some very favorable freight rates.”

To contact the Kemps, call 701-265-8978 or email wekemp@polarcomm.com.

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