In 2018, timothy hay export prices in Washington and Idaho were at record highs on first cutting with strong demand. In 2019, demand started strong on higher quality first-cutting timothy, but it didn’t last long. Demand and prices started to decline in mid- to late June and have not recovered. A few sales of premium dairy timothy big bales in Washington last week were $230 to $235 freight on board (FOB) in wrapped stacks compared to $270 to $280 per ton in mid- to late July of last year.
While demand has turned light on even premium quality horse and dairy timothy, demand for lesser quality timothy for export is very light. The large carryover of old crop timothy from last year and lower prices have created an atmosphere of caution with overseas buyers. Some timothy growers in Washington have recently plowed out timothy fields and will not harvest a second cutting due to the lower market.
Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.