Nov. 14, 2017 08:00 AM

Seth Hoyt

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

In mid-October, I reported an 8,500 ton contract in Central California on low-lignin alfalfa hay for the 2018 season on all cuttings at $223 per ton FOB stack (the buyer said the price ended up being $225) with no test requirement. It had to be clean hay with no rain on it. I received an email from a seed company representative that said the term is “reduced” lignin, not low lignin. I have heard it called both.

I know some growers are planting a portion of their fields to this new seed. A grower in Nevada said he was planting two pivots out of a total of 13 pivots with reduced-lignin seed. He wanted to see if the higher-quality tests hold true and if it brings him a higher return for the season compared to nonreduced-lignin seed. This new seed is also supposed to give a grower more flexibility on cutting schedules, especially for rain delays. You will hear more about this in the 2018 season.