Hay supplies are tight and prices have been high in Minnesota, says Dan Martens, University of Minnesota extension educator, Foley. Growers are taking late fall cuttings where it makes sense to do so, he says. "People are working really hard to scrape up what they can and are looking for alternatives to meet their hay needs. Producers are rolling up corn stalks and have been making meadow hay when they can. A couple of producers harvested small grains in the beginning of August and planted small grains back on those fields. They caught good rain in August and September and were able to harvest some oatlage late in October."

The strong demand for locally grown dairy hay helps keep hay acres fairly stable in the area, Martens says.

Contact Martens at 320-968-5077.

South Dakota

This year, South Dakota hay producers tied the yield record set in 1999. "The October crop production report showed our producers harvested 2.8 tons/acre of alfalfa and alfalfa-mix hay, which put us in a more comfortable position from a supply side," says Matthew Diersen, South Dakota State University extension ag economist.

Increased demand for hay in the East helped move more hay out of the state and supported several months of higher hay prices. "Even though we had an above-average year in South Dakota, the tight supply situation in the rest of the country is impacting our state as well," Diersen says. "We didn't have the typical seasonal declines that would normally happen in August and September. We've had above-average yields for hay production at the state level, and that usually means prices will decline. But that wasn't the case."

For more about South Dakota hay production, visit econ.sdstate.edu/Extension/OtherMarkets.htm. Contact Diersen at 605-688-4864.