Stocks of all hay stored in the United States totaled 24.4 million tons, down from 25.1 million tons in May 2016, according to last week’s USDA Crop Production report. This is the first year-over-year reduction in May stocks since 2013, which followed a widespread drought year. The 2017 May 1 stocks total is still the sixth largest since 2000.
Some states showed significant gains in hay inventories from a year ago. These included Texas (plus 780,000 tons, up 31 percent), Kentucky (plus 290,000 tons, up 36 percent), New York (plus 136,000 tons, up 72 percent), Pennsylvania (plus 130,000 tons, up 33 percent), and Indiana (plus 125,000 tons, up 68 percent).
States with large declines in hay inventories included Idaho (minus 440,000 tons, down 46 percent), North Dakota (minus 360,000 tons, down 25 percent), South Dakota (minus 350,000 tons, down 16 percent), and Colorado (minus 300,000 tons, down 38 percent).
Hay disappearance between December 1, 2016, and May 1, 2017, totaled 71.4 million tons. This compares with 69.9 million tons for the same period a year earlier and was the highest disappearance since 2011 (see graph below).