After a robust retreat in June, hay prices dropped only minimally in July, based on USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week. The All Hay price dropped $1 per ton to $159, which is still $18 higher than July 2017. Other Hay (hay other than alfalfa) actually jumped $5 per ton from June to $126 per ton. That’s $6 higher than July 2017.
The average July Alfalfa Hay price dropped by $2 per ton from June to $179 per ton, which is $26 higher than one year ago, The Alfalfa Hay price is still $30 per ton above last December. As a general rule, annual alfalfa prices peak during April or May.
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 states with fewer sales.
The largest Alfalfa Hay price gainers in July were New York (up $27 per ton), Michigan (up $15), Pennsylvania (up $14), and Colorado (up $10).
Significant price decliners included Nebraska (down $24 per ton), Texas (down $24). Wisconsin (down $21), North Dakota (down $17), Iowa (down $13), South Dakota (down $12), Oklahoma (down $11), and Washington (down $10).
The highest average Alfalfa Hay prices were reported from New Mexico ($240 per ton), Kentucky ($220), Arizona ($220), Colorado ($210), California ($200), and Oregon ($200).
The lowest prices were found in South Dakota ($94 per ton), North Dakota ($96), and Nebraska ($98).