Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
Early season new crop alfalfa hay prices in California’s Imperial Valley are $20 to $25 per ton lower than new crop sales at the same time last year. Supreme alfalfa big and small bales traded last week from $185 to $191, with a few lots of high-testing hay trading from $195 to $200 per ton FOB stack. While demand from dairy hay buyers has been good, it has not been the widespread demand seen in some past years, particularly from central California dairies. In most years, export hay buyers are not in the market for early alfalfa hay in the Imperial Valley due to the hay being too high in moisture; however, a few exporters have been in the early market this year. With daytime high temperatures around 90°F degrees, some alfalfa hay offerings have tested under 15 percent moisture.