Michigan hay prices have remained high as first-crop hay harvest was slowed by rainy May and June weather, reports grower Garry Johnston, of Johnston Farm and Composting, Linden.
“It’s been tough so far; we haven’t been able to get more than two or three good drying days in a row,” says Johnston, who, with his wife, Maria, puts up alfalfa-timothy hay in small square bales on 100 acres. “We figure we’re about three weeks behind normal.”
Their primary market: local horse owners. Along with private-treaty sales, the couple also market through a local livestock/hay auction. At one recent sale, last year’s first-crop hay sold for $6-7.50/bale, while second crop garnered $10-10.25/bale. “We did sell some first-crop from this year at $7.50/bale,” says Johnston.
Prices could drop off once the weather improves, he believes. “With all the moisture we’ve had, there should be a lot of hay out there this year.”
In the meantime, he plans to take a “cautious” approach to marketing this year’s crop. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls from people who weren’t able to find hay last year. A lot of them are looking to buy a whole year’s supply. At this point, though, I’m not interested in taking on a lot of new customers. I want to see how production in our area comes out first. I think a lot of other farmers will be doing the same thing.”
To contact the Johnstons, call 810-599-9213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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