Though hay stocks were whittled down from a winter of feeding and export shipments, it apparently wasn’t enough to prompt an upward January price trend. Just the opposite occurred.
The recent USDA Agricultural Prices report pegged the January all-hay price at $137 per ton, $5 per ton less than the December average price and $12 lower than one year ago. January alfalfa hay prices retreated by $3 per ton from December to $147 per ton. This was $23 per ton less than one year ago.
The largest month-to-month alfalfa hay price drops occurred in Idaho (minus $20), Oklahoma (minus $19), Pennsylvania (minus $16), Michigan (minus $10) and Nevada (minus $10). Significant price increases belonged to Arizona (plus $20), Wisconsin (plus $12) and Ohio (plus $10). Data for individual states is presented in the table below.
The USDA price averages account for all qualities of hay sold and 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.