Seth Hoyt

Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.

In most of my articles, dairy and export alfalfa hay markets in the West are discussed. But what I haven’t talked about for a while is what Western horse owners are paying for alfalfa and grass hays. I have two horses and usually buy about a ton of hay at a time when I purchase hay from a retail outlet. While some horse owners are like me, others buy bigger volumes and go direct to the grower.

The bottom line is that retail and stable alfalfa hay prices are moving higher in California and some areas of the West. In the Imperial Valley, Premium retail alfalfa hay in the past two weeks is selling $30 per ton higher than the market in July and $35 to $40 higher than a year ago. Premium retail orchardgrass in the Northern California mountains sold from $250 to $290 per ton two weeks ago, compared to $220 to $260 per ton a year ago.