Depending on hay type, prices moved each direction or not at all during September, according to USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week.
The all-hay price for September was pegged at $136 per ton for the second consecutive month, which was down $8 per ton from September 2016. Hay other than alfalfa dipped $3 per ton in September to $113, which equaled the September 2016 price.
There was positive movement in the September alfalfa hay price, which moved up $2 per ton to $149 over the previous month. This is $13 per ton over the 2016 level. The alfalfa price is now $21 per ton above the low set in January.
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 with fewer sales.
Midwest states led the alfalfa price gainers in September: Ohio (plus $30 per ton), Wisconsin (plus $22), Michigan (plus $20), and Minnesota (plus $12). Oregon led price losers at minus $30 per ton followed by New York (minus $17) and Texas (minus $10).
The highest alfalfa hay prices are being reported from Kentucky ($205 per ton), New York ($199 per ton), Pennsylvania ($177 per ton), and New Mexico ($175 per ton).
The lowest prices can be found in Nebraska ($90 per ton), Minnesota ($98 per ton), and South Dakota ($93 per ton).