The average price for alfalfa hay retreated another $10 per ton during November, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Prices report. This was the seventh consecutive month of price decline since hitting a record-high average price of $287 per ton during April. The average alfalfa hay price settled at $207 per ton during November, putting it $60 per ton lower than one year ago.

The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay during November dropped by $7 per ton and settled at $271.

In contrast to alfalfa hay, grass hay was pegged at $170 per ton in November, which was $6 per ton higher than the October price. The gap of $37 between the alfalfa and grass hay price is narrowest it’s been since March 2021.

Only two states posted double-digit month-over-month gains in alfalfa price. Minnesota and Wisconsin were both up $13 per ton.

Double-digit declines in the November alfalfa hay price occurred in eight states. Oklahoma led that group with a $23 per ton month-over-month drop. Washington, Oregon, and Kansas were all down $15. Nebraska was down $11 while California, Montana, and Wyoming dropped by $10 per ton.

The highest average November alfalfa hay price was reported in New Mexico at $290 per ton. Texas followed at $268 while Colorado and Oregon checked in at $255 per ton.

Midwest states continue to offer the lowest average alfalfa hay prices. North Dakota easily remains the lowest at $120 per ton. It was followed by South Dakota at $160 per ton and Montana at $165.

Keep in mind that 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 November, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay dropped by $7 per ton to $271 after dropping by $10 per ton in October. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $331 per ton.

Other hay

The November average price of other hay (mostly grass) bumped to $170 per ton, which was $6 per ton higher than October but $14 lower than a year ago.

The highest November price for hay other than alfalfa was reported in Colorado at $250 per ton. New Mexico and Washington followed at $245 per ton.

North Dakota had the lowest reported other hay average price at $80 per ton. It was followed by Oklahoma at $117 per ton.