Over the past five months, the average price of alfalfa hay seems to have settled between about $210 and $215 dollars per ton, according to USDA’s Agricultural Prices report.

In January, the average price of alfalfa hay dropped by $2 to $211 per ton, which was $43 more than a year earlier.

The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay jumped by $9 per ton in January to $262, which followed a $7 gain the previous month. The Supreme and Premium price stood at $56 per ton higher than it was in January 2021.

Only two states issued double-digit gains in their average alfalfa hay price. Arizona and Idaho were both up by $10 per ton.

Six states posted double-digit price declines. These included Pennsylvania (down $22 per ton), New York (down $15), and Wisconsin (down $11). Ohio, Oregon, and Washington were all down $10 per ton.

The highest average alfalfa hay prices were reported in Utah ($255 per ton), Montana ($250), and Oregon ($250).

The lowest alfalfa hay prices were posted in Wisconsin ($160) and Nebraska ($162).

Keep in mind that the USDA average prices account for all qualities and bale types 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 (California, Idaho, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin). This data is used to determine feed prices in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

For January, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay jumped by $9 per ton to $262. Idaho’s price for the top two grades of alfalfa increased by $20 per ton over the previous month. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $206 per ton.

Other hay

The December price of other hay (mostly grass) dropped by $2 per ton to $144, which was $11 per ton above one year ago.

The highest prices for hay other than alfalfa were reported in Washington ($270 per ton), Oregon ($240), and Colorado ($235).

Oklahoma had the lowest reported other hay average price at $100 per ton. It was followed by Nebraska ($102) and Missouri ($105).