Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
Alfalfa hay production started in the Columbia Basin in Washington last week while other areas will start in the next two weeks, about 10 days sooner than normal. New crop alfalfa hay production will start in Idaho around May 1, also ahead of normal. Some alfalfa hay growers in Idaho who are near dairies are trying to make deals for the season on greenchop alfalfa, standing prices, or dollars per acre for the season as they are concerned about the baled alfalfa hay market this coming season. Additionally, they are trying to shift the risk on the chance of rain-damaged alfalfa hay, which hurt growers last year. Dairies have the ability to greenchop alfalfa if there is a threat of rain. Some alfalfa hay growers in eastern Idaho are reducing acres of alfalfa hay with early indications of not very promising hay prices in 2016.