The average alfalfa hay price during October rose to $213 per ton, which was the highest monthly average since July 2014.

The October alfalfa price was $4 per ton above the previous month and $44 higher than one year ago. It was the eleventh consecutive month that the alfalfa price posted a month-over-month gain in USDA’s Agricultural Prices report.

The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay increased by $3 per ton to $247, a whopping $53 per ton higher than one year ago.

Ten states registered double-digit, month-over-month alfalfa price gains in October. Leading the group was Iowa, posting a $27 per ton improvement. The next highest jumps were in Idaho (plus $15) and Nebraska (plus $14). Arizona, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Texas, and Utah were all up by $10 or $11 per ton.

Only two states posted double-digit price declines. These were Colorado and North Dakota, both down $10 per ton.

The highest average alfalfa hay prices were reported in Oregon ($250 per ton), Utah ($245), Montana ($235), and New Mexico ($230).

The lowest alfalfa hay prices were posted in North Dakota and Missouri, both at $160 per ton.

Keep in mind that the USDA average prices account for all qualities of hay sold. Also, the final U.S. estimate is a volume-weighted average rather than a simple average of state values. Those states with the most volume sales will impact the final U.S. dollar value more than those states with fewer sales.

Supreme and Premium

The USDA also tracks the prices of Supreme and Premium quality alfalfa in the major dairy states and determines an average price from the five top milk-producing states. This data is used to determine feed prices in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

For October, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay rose by $3 per ton to $247. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $194 per ton.

Other hay

The October price of other hay (mostly grass) held steady at $145 per ton, which was $12 per ton above one year ago.

The highest prices for hay other than alfalfa were reported in Washington ($255 per ton), Oregon ($240), and Colorado ($235).

Oklahoma had the lowest reported other hay average price at $90 per ton. It was followed by Missouri ($100).