Alfalfa price moves sideways in February

By Hay and Forage Grower

The monthly average alfalfa price for February held steady from the previous month. The latest USDA Agricultural Prices report pegged alfalfa at $171 per ton, which equaled January and was $9 per ton lower than one year ago.

As was the case for January, there were no states that posted significant hay price gains during February.

Double-digit price decliners were few and geographically scattered. Texas was down $13 per ton, Iowa – down $11, and Utah – down $10.

The highest average alfalfa hay prices were reported in Colorado ($230 per ton) and Pennsylvania ($229). New Mexico and Ohio both checked in at $220 per ton.

The lowest prices were posted in North Dakota ($85 per ton), South Dakota ($106), and Nebraska ($110).

Keep in mind that the USDA average prices account for all qualities of hay sold. Also, 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 USDA also tracks the prices of Premium and Supreme quality alfalfa in the major dairy states and determines an average price from the five leading milk-producing states. This data is being used to determine feed prices in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

For February, the average price of Premium and Supreme alfalfa remained the same compared to January $210 per ton, which was $15 below one year ago.

Other hay

The February average price of other hay (mostly grass hay) rose by $2 per ton from the previous month to $136, which was $17 per ton below one year ago.

The highest prices for hay other than alfalfa were reported in Colorado ($230 per ton), Arizona ($200), and New Mexico ($190).

States with the lowest reported other hay average prices included North Dakota ($68 per ton), Nebraska ($82), Oklahoma ($88), and South Dakota ($88).