Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
Whether you’re a hay grower in the West, hay dealer, or a trucker that hauls hay, 2015 has been a challenging year. The Western hay industry has been hit with a double “whammy” of substantially less demand from dairies due to a big hay carryover into 2015 combined with less demand from hay export buyers due to large old crop inventories caused by the work slowdown at West Coast ports earlier this year. Additionally, the port slowdown forced overseas buyers to source hay in other areas of the world. Those inventories along with heavy hay shipments from the West Coast in the month or two after the port labor dispute was settled on March 1 created an over-supply situation in some overseas locations. The bottom line: The amount of alfalfa hay in grower’s hands in the West that has not sold is much above normal and most of it is Fair and Good quality.