Nebraska hay prices were steady with very few new trades occurring last week, according to the University of Wisconsin's Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report. Demand and inquiry were very good for new-crop hay. Freezing temperatures early in the month have set back harvest and tonnage of first cutting alfalfa in the state. Iowa hay prices were mixed to lower than they had been. Freezing temperatures set back the harvest and tonnage of first cutting alfalfa in Iowa, too.

South Dakota hay prices were mixed to higher last week. Spring field work was well under way in the state. Missouri hay prices were steady. Hay demand was moderate to light, with light supplies reported. Spring rains and warmer weather have at least restarted the grass growth, although it may be slow. The first alfalfa cutting, once thought to be only a few days away, now is not so near in the future. There were some reports of cattle producers having to supplemental feed, as the grass they had turned cattle on is now gone.

Southwestern Minnesota hay prices were mixed to somewhat higher and sales activity was good. In Wisconsin, alfalfa conditions were varied across the state. Minimal winterkill has been observed in northern areas. Time, however, is still needed to fully assess the conditions. Alfalfa suffered frost damage from two weeks of cold temperatures. Crops in southern areas of the state appear to have come through the winter fine.

Prime hay at greater than 151 relative feed value (RFV)/relative forage quality (RFQ) averaged $128.52/ton in small square bales in the Midwest last week, with a maximum price of $160/ton and a minimum price of $77.50/ton. Large square bales of prime hay averaged $133.82/ton; large round bales, $103.62. Large square bales of Grade 1 hay (125-150 RFV/RFQ) sold for an average price of $93/ton and ranged from $55 to $107.50/ton. Large round bales averaged $74/ton. Large square bales of Grade 2 hay (103-124 RFV/RFQ) averaged $84.72/ton, ranging from $70 to $120/ton. The average price paid for round bales of Grade 2 hay was $48.74/ton. Small square bales of Grade 3 hay (87-102 RFV/RFQ) averaged $52/ton.

Straw prices in the Midwest averaged $2.25 per small square bale, ranging from $1 to $3.50; $25.31 per large square bale, ranging from $17 to $38; and $18.78 per large round bale with a range of $18 to $20.40. Compared to the previous week, straw prices for small square bales were down 8%. Large square bale prices were up 3%, and round bale prices rose 1%.

Source: University of Wisconsin. Learn more online at www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm