New crop alfalfa hay prices in the Imperial Valley and Blythe, Calif., the past two weeks were $30 to $40 per ton higher than a year ago. Even with depressed milk prices, a few dairy hay buyers were competing with export buyers for early new crop alfalfa hay. In the Imperial Valley and Blythe, early sales on first cutting Supreme alfalfa hay sold to Central California dairy hay buyers from $220 to $225 per ton, FOB stack.

In the Imperial Valley, Premium alfalfa hay traded from $210 to $220. Premium to Supreme alfalfa hay, big and small bales, sold to export buyers from $215 to $225. Some growers were cutting new crop alfalfa hay a little earlier than normal due to ideal growing conditions in the Southern California desert. According to the Imperial Irrigation District, there were 134,132 alfalfa hay acres in the Imperial Valley on February 13, 3 percent less than a year ago.

Seth Hoyt

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