Alfalfa prices continue to climb
|By Hay and Forage Grower|
The average price of U.S. alfalfa hay in June jumped another $5 per ton, according to USDA’s Agricultural Prices report. It was the seventh consecutive month that the alfalfa price posted a month-over-month gain. The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay increased by $4 per ton after climbing $15 per ton the previous month.
The alfalfa hay price averaged $199 per ton during June, which was $20 per ton above one year ago. Typically, the average monthly price retreats in June, but widespread drought and strong commodity prices have made this year anything but typical. The June average price exceeded any month in 2020 and is the highest price recorded since May 2019 when alfalfa hit $204 per ton.
A whopping ten states registered double-digit, month-over-month alfalfa price gains in June. Leading this group was South Dakota, posting a $37 per ton improvement. It was followed by North Dakota (up $28), Idaho (up $20), Nebraska (up $20), and Washington (up $20).
Four states had double-digit price declines. These were Ohio (down $15 per ton), Texas (down $14), and New York and Michigan, both down $10 per ton.
The highest average alfalfa hay prices were reported in Pennsylvania ($253 per ton), New Mexico ($240), Colorado ($225), and Oregon ($220).
The lowest prices were posted in Nebraska ($145 per ton), Missouri ($155), and North Dakota ($164).
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.
Supreme and Premium
The USDA also tracks the prices of Supreme and Premium quality alfalfa in the major dairy states and determines an average price from the five top milk-producing states. This data is used to determine feed prices in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
For June, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay jumped by $4 to $230 per ton. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $201.
The June price of other hay (mostly grass) averaged $140 per ton, which was the same as the previous month but $12 per ton above one year ago.
The highest prices for hay other than alfalfa were reported in Washington ($240 per ton), Colorado ($225), and New Mexico ($195).
Nebraska had the lowest reported other hay average price at $90 per ton. It was followed by Missouri and Kansas, both at $105 per ton.