In the past two weeks, the first new crop sales on timothy hay in Washington and sudan hay in the Imperial Valley were reported. Both hay types from those areas are sold mainly into the export market.
Sales on timothy hay reported last week in Washington were 8,874 tons, significantly below the 50,428 tons during the same week last year. The reduced volume was due to a combination of export buyers being more cautious than a year ago and some growers in the southern Columbia Basin cutting timothy a little later this year.
Last year, Washington export buyers were very aggressive on early sales of timothy hay. With a large carryover of old crop, second-cutting timothy from 2018, which is mostly below Premium quality, buyers had a much different mindset on this year’s new crop.
Sales of new crop sudan hay in the Imperial Valley last week were about half of last year’s volume. Japanese customers were waiting to see what timothy hay prices would do in the Pacific Northwest before making a commitment on sudan hay in the Imperial Valley.