Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
In talking with a few alfalfa seed company representatives last week, they indicated that alfalfa seed sales for fall planting in the central and northern valley of California were down 40 to 50 percent from the same period last year. It was interesting that one representative said alfalfa seed sales to a few larger dairies in central California were the same as last year. Early indications point to fewer alfalfa hay acres in California and the seven Western states in 2016. While the uncertainty of irrigation water, particularly in California, is a factor, depressed prices on Fair and Good quality alfalfa hay seem to be the bigger factor. Some growers say prices on Fair and Good alfalfa hay have fallen below cost of production and there are growers in central and northern California that have taken out older stands of alfalfa hay before the end of the season.