Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.
The abundant winter rains in California have lingered into the spring and are causing problems for the early 2017 new crop alfalfa hay harvest in Central California. After many growers started cutting alfalfa two weeks ago, it all came to a halt with rain that came into Central and Northern California last week. Some hay on the ground was rain damaged before growers could get it baled. There is rain in the forecast for later this week, but some growers have decided to cut hay anyway because it’s getting too mature. It appears that the amount of higher quality alfalfa hay from the first cutting will be below normal in the Central Valley. While low milk prices have reduced the demand for alfalfa hay from Central California dairies, those dairies in the market are looking for higher quality Premium to Supreme alfalfa hay.