Strong alfalfa export sales are keeping the hay market steady in western and northern Nevada, reports hay broker Dan Knisley of Country Equipment Hay Division in Lovelock.

“Exporters were active throughout the year, and we still have a few coming up wanting to look at inventory,” says Knisley, who also grows alfalfa on 1,900 acres at Great Basin Farms. “Without the export activity, hay prices would probably be lower than they have been.”

Nevada and California dairies are also the major customers for hay grown in the Lovelock-Fallon-Winnemucca area that Knisley services. Currently, dairy-quality hay is bringing around $220-240/ton at the stack. “Overall, it’s $10-15/ton lower than it was a year ago at this time.”

Prices should hold at current levels for the foreseeable future, he says. “It all depends on the milk market. Right now, dairy farmers don’t have a lot of extra money, so they’re buying on an as-needed basis. I just don’t see any stability anywhere.”

To contact Knisley, call 775-273-1177 or email countryeq@gbis.com.