After production of winter alfalfa hay clippings in the Southern California and Arizona desert the past six weeks, the first full cutting of alfalfa hay will be trading in the next couple of weeks. Alfalfa hay growers were anticipating strong demand from dairy hay buyers as milk prices were projected a few months ago to be near $16 per hundredweight (cwt.) or better in March. Unfortunately, the milk price outlook has changed and the California overbase milk price for March is now projected to be under $14.50 cwt. Sources say there are dairies in Central California that need milk cow alfalfa hay, but we will see how aggressive they compete with export hay buyers in the southern desert’s early alfalfa hay market. Early indications point to less alfalfa hay acres in California and Arizona, and USDA’s Planting Intentions report on March 31 will give the first glance of 2017 hay acres.