Some dairies in the West were waiting for the last cutting of alfalfa hay in Idaho, Washington, Nevada, Utah, the northern California mountains, and Oregon, which they hoped would be higher quality. Now, those hopes are fading.

Rainy patterns delayed the final cutting of alfalfa hay with some growers to the point that they will cut in the next week no matter what the weather forecast tells them. The bottom line: Much of the final cutting alfalfa hay has too much growth to be higher test and, with rain forecast next week in many areas, the final cutting will provide little in the form of higher quality.

This will put some dairies in a position of going into the winter with not enough higher quality milk-cow alfalfa hay to supply their needs until next spring. These dairies will have to feed Good quality alfalfa hay rather than Premium or Supreme, and corn silage will become a bigger factor in their milk-cow rations.

Seth Hoyt

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