Demand and trading on alfalfa hay has been slipping in the West and was more noticeable last week. The two main factors are low milk prices and tariffs on alfalfa hay shipping to China.

Low milk prices have stifled demand for alfalfa hay from Central Valley dairies, not only for hay in California but also in Nevada and Utah. While a few Idaho dairies were buying alfalfa hay last week, demand turned light from most export buyers. Demand for export alfalfa hay in Washington turned light with the exception of alfalfa hay for cubes that were fairly good.

Washington dairies have also put the brakes on hay purchases due to low milk prices. The hope that there would be a fairly quick resolution with China on tariffs has started to fade as the Chinese government seems to be focused more on retaliation than resolution. Overall, alfalfa hay demand for export has turned light in most of the West.

Seth Hoyt

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