All-hay and alfalfa May hay price averages both moved higher for the fourth month in a row, according to USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week. The all-hay price was $146 per ton, up $3 per ton from the previous month and $6 higher than May 2016. Hay other than alfalfa declined by $5 per ton from $132 to $127 but is $4 per ton higher than May 2016.
The month-to-month alfalfa price was up $7 in May to $155 per ton, which is $8 per ton more than one year ago and the highest average monthly price since October 2015. The alfalfa price has climbed $27 per ton since hitting a low of $128 in January.
Last year, the USDA alfalfa hay price hit a peak of $154 per ton in April and then declined throughout the remainder of the year.
The USDA price averages account for all qualities of hay sold, and the final U.S. estimate is a volume-weighted average rather than a simple average of state values. Those states with the most volume sales will impact the final U.S. dollar value more than those states with fewer sales.
The leading alfalfa price gainers in May were Wisconsin (plus $27 per ton), South Dakota (plus $16), Washington (plus $15), and Minnesota (plus $11). Only three states had price declines and all were minimal.
The highest alfalfa hay prices are being reported from New York ($250 per ton), Kentucky ($215 per ton), New Mexico ($185 per ton), Texas ($181 per ton), and California ($180 per ton).
The lowest prices can be found in Nebraska ($77 per ton), North Dakota ($80 per ton), Minnesota ($87 per ton), and Iowa ($96 per ton).