In some Western states, hay supplies are down from a year ago, according to sources. This was evident in California and western Arizona last week where current alfalfa hay production was sold shortly after it went into the stack. While both dairy and export buyers were in the market, if the hay met the quality requirements for export, export buyers were outbidding dairy buyers on most deals.
Alfalfa hay selling to dairy hay buyers FOB in the stack in the Imperial Valley was $40 to $50 per ton higher than a year ago. Strong demand for hay for beef cattle in Central California pushed prices higher on Fair quality alfalfa hay to $210 to $220 delivered to Tulare dairies, $5 to $10 higher than two weeks ago. With early indications pointing to strong demand from export buyers in 2018, there is early interest in the Southern California and Arizona desert from a few dairy hay buyers for contracting early new crop alfalfa hay.