All-hay and alfalfa July average prices each dropped slightly in USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week. The all-hay price dipped $3 from June to $131 per ton, which is $21 per ton lower than July 2015.
The month-to-month alfalfa price retreated by $2 to $140 per ton, which is $32 per ton less than a year ago.
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.
For alfalfa hay, the largest price declines came from Oklahoma (minus $16 per ton), Wisconsin (minus $15), and Minnesota (minus $11). Conversely, large price hikes were reported in Ohio (plus $30 per ton) and Michigan (plus $25) — two states where drought conditions have plagued certain regions during the course of the summer.
The highest alfalfa hay prices are being reported from Kentucky ($220 per ton) and Ohio ($200 per ton). The lowest prices can be found in Minnesota ($73 per ton), North Dakota ($80 per ton), and Wisconsin ($80 per ton).For 2016, the U.S. alfalfa average hay price started the year at $141 per ton, reached a peak of $154 per ton in May, then declined to current levels through summer.