In the areas of Parker and Poston, Ariz., and Blythe, Calif., new crop contracts with Central and Southern California dairies were reported in January. One deal was for Premium alfalfa hay at $200 and another was for Premium/Supreme alfalfa hay at $215 FOB stack. Both deals had some to half of the money paid up-front and included a rain clause. Compared to deals made by the same parties last year, these prices are unchanged.

In January, growers in areas of the Southwest started on a clipping and they have mostly finished up. Even though most of the clipping alfalfa hay had faults, ranging from overgrown to frost damage to high moisture, demand from dairies and feedlots was good. Growers in the area started first cutting on new-seeding alfalfa hay and expect to be fully going on first cutting by the end of February. In other areas of the West, export buyers have started discussing new crop contracts with growers, but no confirmed deals have been reported yet.