The average price of alfalfa hay during April remained the same as the previous month at $195 per ton. According to data from the USDA’s Agricultural Prices report, this broke an 11-month consecutive string of price declines. It was only one year ago when the average price of alfalfa hay hit a record-high average price of $287 per ton.

The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay during April took a big hit and dropped by $11 per ton, settling at $260.

The average grass hay price fell by $12 per ton in April after dropping by $9 per ton the previous month. The April grass hay price of $149 per ton marks the lowest it’s been since June 2022.

Four states posted double-digit month-over-month gains in alfalfa price during April. Minnesota was up $15 per ton while Iowa and Pennsylvania were up by $13. New York had a $10 per ton month-over-month increase.

Double-digit declines in the April alfalfa hay price occurred in nine states and were led by Montana, which was down $20 per ton from March. Average alfalfa hay prices in New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming dropped by $15 per ton, while Oklahoma was down $13 per ton. California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington were all down by $10 per ton.

The highest average April alfalfa hay price was reported in Texas at $301 per ton and was followed by Pennsylvania at $241. California and New Mexico both checked-in at $240 per ton.

North Dakota easily had the lowest average alfalfa price at $108 per ton. It was followed by Montana at $140.

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 April, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay dropped by $11 per ton to $260. It’s usually during April and May when high-quality hay is in short supply. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $315 per ton.

Other hay

The April average price of other hay (mostly grass) dropped to $149 per ton and is currently $12 per ton lower than a year ago.

The highest April price for hay other than alfalfa was reported in Oregon and Washington at $220 per ton. Texas followed at $213 per ton.

North Dakota had the lowest reported other hay average price at $83 per ton. It was followed by Oklahoma at $97 per ton.