The market for all types of good-quality hay in Colorado remains strong, reports Wayne Kruse, owner-auctioneer at Centennial Livestock Auctions in Fort Collins. For lower-quality hay, though, an oversupply is dragging on prices.
At Centennial’s Jan. 25 sale, medium and large square bales of “higher-quality hay” brought $200-260/ton. Small squares at 45-60 lbs each sold for as much as $300/ton. “It really didn’t matter if it was alfalfa or grass,” says Kruse. “There was good demand for it.”
Prices were dramatically lower for poorer-quality hay at that auction. Rained-on hay brought $100-150/ton, while most mountain hay sold in the $100-130/ton range. “A lot of guys are selling the rained-on hay for almost any price because they just want it gone. They don’t want it sitting around for another year and have it be worth nothing.”
At the very least, Kruse says, the market for high-quality hay is likely to remain steady over the next several months. “It could get even stronger. The really good hay is extremely hard to find.”
The likely direction of prices for lower-quality hay is a tougher call. “Right now, it’s cheap. And it could get even cheaper because there’s just so much of it around. But that could change if we get more of a winter than we’ve been having so far. Two weeks ago, I still had cows out on pasture.”
Centennial holds its hay auction on the last Saturday of the month. The next sale will be on Feb. 22. To contact Kruse, call 970-482-6207.
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