Dairy-quality alfalfa-hay sales have slowed considerably in recent weeks in Oklahoma and neighboring states despite the fact that prices are down slightly from last year’s record levels. So says hay grower and dealer Brandon Drinnon, of Drinnon Hay in Taloga, OK.
Premium alfalfa in large square bales is now fetching $250-260/ton at the farm gate. The price had been closer to $300/ton. “Sellers got used to last year’s prices,” he says. “They call and say: ‘Isn’t it worth more than that?’ But the dairies have been suffering. They’d like to see it selling even cheaper.”
With supplies throughout the region limited heading into winter, due mostly to drought, Drinnon believes prices will likely strengthen some in the months ahead.
“A lot of dairies have been buying far out ahead. But they’ll be needing hay as we go along this winter. We’re going to be short come March. As soon as the market moves a little bit, they’ll start buying again. That’s as long as they have money for it.”
Winter weather is a wild card. “If we get some moisture, the price could soften some. But if it stays dry, prices will be steady to strong all winter,” he says.
For dry-cow hay, Oklahoma buyers have been paying $200-210/ton. Prices have been just slightly stronger in parts of Nebraska and Kansas where Drinnon also markets hay.
The going price for wheat hay in 5 x 6’ round bales is in the $100-125/ton range, he reports. “We’ve been moving a good 20 loads a week. The price is a little cheaper this year than it was a year ago.” Round bales of oat hay have been selling for $100/ton.
For more information, contact Drinnon at 580-328-5635 or email@example.com.