Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
Alfalfa hay production in the seven Western states was forecast at 5 percent lower than last year, while U.S. alfalfa hay production was forecast at 1 percent higher than 2014, according to USDA’s Crop Production Report released last week. California had the biggest influence on alfalfa hay production in the seven Western states with a 21 percent decline. One would think lower production would improve alfalfa hay prices, particularly on Fair and Good quality. With the imbalance in supplies, it will take time to work through the large supplies of Fair and Good quality alfalfa hay in the West. Even if the market strengthens on middle to lower quality alfalfa hay in California in the months ahead, that will draw hay in from surrounding states. This will tend to keep a lid on the Fair and Good quality alfalfa hay markets not only in California but in the West until supplies are reduced and come into balance with demand.