Seth Hoyt
Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight

Demand for alfalfa hay from Central California dairies, mainly the Tulare and Hanford areas, started to pick up in July and August as dairies looked at the prospects of higher milk prices going into the fall and the tight supplies of higher quality alfalfa hay in the West. USDA reported large inventories of cheese and butter in cold storage in July and milk price estimates for late summer and fall started to drop. Additionally, the legislature in Sacramento recently passed bills that were not friendly to agriculture and impacted the California dairy industry. A bill requiring that farm workers be paid overtime after 40 hours of work was passed two weeks ago and followed by a bill last week that requires dairies reduce emissions from manure by 40 percent before 2030. While there is demand from some Central California dairies for higher quality alfalfa hay, the overall demand for alfalfa hay is not as strong as it was in August.