First-cutting alfalfa hay production will begin in the coming week in Idaho and Washington with Utah, Oregon, and the northern California harvests still three to four weeks away.

The question being asked is, “Where will prices be on early new crop alfalfa hay?” In Idaho during the past two months, there were new crop contracts for export that totaled 135,000 tons, and prices were $15 to $20 per ton higher than early contracts in Idaho last year. Will this same trend hold true on first-cutting alfalfa hay in southern Idaho that will trade in the coming weeks?

In Washington, first-cut alfalfa hay will begin in the southern Columbia Basin next week, and while many people in the industry think prices will be higher than a year ago, there is a big difference of opinion between buyers and sellers. Consequently, in the past month in Washington, about 93,500 tons of alfalfa and timothy hay were committed to export buyers for the season with the price to be established when hay goes in the stack.
Seth Hoyt

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