Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
Three dairy nutritionists in Central California say dairies they are working with are feeding 8 to 10 pounds of alfalfa hay per head per day to their milk cows. There were some in the hay industry in California who thought dairies had reduced the amount of alfalfa hay being fed because of the light demand and slow movement of alfalfa hay the past month. It appears that many dairies had sufficient hay inventories to keep them out of the early season hay market. One nutritionist said in the last couple of weeks he has dairies that want to cut back 10 to 20 percent on alfalfa hay and use up other feed they have on hand, including silage. The bottom line is that with the overbase milk price estimate for May in California at $11.90 to $12 per hundredweight, dairies are trying to reduce feed costs any way they can.