In Washington, Idaho, and Utah, demand for Fair quality alfalfa hay for dairy dry cows, beef cow-calf ranchers, and feedlots is outpacing supplies.

Why are feeder-hay supplies so tight not only in these three states but in some other areas in the West as well?

Much of it has to do with weather and a decline in the amount of rain damaged alfalfa hay. Historically, during the alfalfa hay season, there is hay that is rain damaged or overgrown that would fill the demand for feeder hay buyers.

In the 2018 season, because of the better than normal hay production weather, supplies of feeder hay have dropped and in some areas of the West it has been a dramatic decline. For example, in Idaho, Fair alfalfa hay prices in mid-June were $115 to $120 FOB (freight on board) stack and prices last week were $125 to $140. Some brokers were not able to find enough hay to fill orders.

Seth Hoyt

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