Hay supplies continue to tighten up in northern Indiana, says Middlebury grower Dennis Smeltzer. “We’re getting to the point where we’re all booked up for this year, and most of my neighbors are telling me they’re in the same boat,” he says. “We usually get some hay coming into the state from southern Michigan, but this year a lot of that was shipped south because of the drought.”
Smeltzer and his wife, Jenny, grow alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixed hay on 150 acres. Along with small square bales, they put up 4 x 4’ dry and high-moisture, wrapped round bales. Amish dairy producers and horse owners are their target markets. They put up small squares on an “order only” basis, and store most of their round bales for fall and winter sales.
Currently, high-quality small square bales weighing 50 lbs each have been selling for $200-250/ton in the area, although the price has reached $300/ton in some sales. Round bales of dry hay have been selling for $100-140/ton. “Across the board, prices are 30-50% higher than they were a year ago.”
Even with the tight supply situation, prices are unlikely to move much higher in the months ahead, Smeltzer says. “People can’t afford to pay much more. I don’t think prices will keep climbing, but I don’t look for the bottom to fall out between now and next spring, either.”
To contact Smeltzer, call 574-825-2376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.