Frequent rains kept Streater, Ill., hay grower Ron Tombaugh from getting first-cut harvested as early as he would have liked. Tombaugh raises nearly 300 acres of alfalfa in north central Illinois.

"Even though we were two weeks late with the first crop, yields were good," notes Tombaugh who operates Dart Hay Service. He surmises that the rain experienced in other parts of the U.S. will boost demand for high-quality hay.

Tombaugh is still optimistic that the demand for hay will be strong, though he admits that this time of year the need for hay generally is lower as new crop bolsters supplies. "We've planted 80 acres of new alfalfa seedings the past two years," adds Tombaugh. He anticipates good quality alfalfa will continue to bring near $200 per ton.

Tombaugh can be reached at 309-531-4229 or visit