A slight drop for October hay prices

By Hay and Forage Grower

There was no significant movement in hay prices during October based on USDA’s most recent Agricultural Prices report released last week. The All Hay price was $1 per ton lower at $162, still $21 higher than October 2017. Other Hay (hay other than alfalfa) rose by $2 per ton from September and finished at $132 per ton. That’s $12 higher than October 2017.

The average October Alfalfa Hay price dropped by $2 per ton to $178; this followed last month’s price bump of $3 per ton. The $178 per ton alfalfa price is $25 higher than one year ago and $30 per ton above last December. To date, the highest average U.S. alfalfa price in 2018 occurred in May at $189 per ton.

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.

The largest Alfalfa Hay price gainers in October were Iowa (up $26 per ton), Minnesota (up $18), Pennsylvania (up $18), and Wisconsin (up $11). Indiana, Michigan, and New York were all up $10 per ton.

Price decliners were led by Arizona (down $20 per ton) and Oklahoma (down $15).

The highest average Alfalfa Hay prices were reported from New Mexico ($230 per ton), Kentucky ($215), Colorado ($215), Oregon ($205), Pennsylvania ($202), and California ($200).

The lowest prices were found in North Dakota ($85 per ton) and South Dakota ($106).