All-hay and alfalfa August average prices moved sideways in USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week. The all-hay price held at $131 per ton from July, which is $12 per ton lower than August 2015.
The month-to-month alfalfa price dropped by $2 to $138 per ton, which is $23 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.
After Ohio led price gainers (plus $30 per ton) in last month’s report, the Buckeye State led price losers for August (minus $30). The only other state with a significant price decline was Idaho (minus $10). Notable price hikes were reported in New York (plus $21), Pennsylvania (plus $19), and Michigan (plus $15).
The highest alfalfa hay prices are being reported from Kentucky ($220 per ton) and New York ($216 per ton). The lowest prices can be found in Minnesota ($69 per ton), Wisconsin ($79 per ton), and North Dakota ($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.