Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
According to the Dairy Marketing Branch in the California Department of Food and Agriculture, dairies in California fed 8.25 pounds of alfalfa hay per head per day to milk cows in the July through September 2015 quarter, up from 8.05 pounds in the second quarter and compared to 7.97 pounds in the third quarter of 2014. Lower hay prices appear to be the main factor in the slight increase in pounds of alfalfa hay in milk cow rations. Supreme alfalfa hay prices delivered to Tulare and Hanford, Calif., dairies in the third quarter of 2015 averaged $283 per ton compared to $353 delivered in the third quarter of 2014, according to The Hoyt Report. In December, Supreme alfalfa hay delivered to Tulare and Hanford dairies averaged $263 per ton compared to $332 delivered in December of the previous year.