Western hay growers hoping for more snow

By Seth Hoyt

Seth Hoyt

Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.

With the forecast for cold weather and snow in the Western states during the coming week, hay growers are hoping for more of the same in the weeks ahead. Growers in the West who are sitting on large inventories of Fair quality alfalfa hay (feeder hay) have received inquiries from beef cattle producers the past two weeks for hay. They know demand would pick up even more if a snowy weather pattern would hit the Western states. USDA’s December 1 Hay Stocks report, which will be released in early January, is expected to show larger inventories of hay on hand in the West compared to last year. Hay growers in the West are also hoping for snow in the mountains to replenish depleted water supplies for irrigation. After two years of a zero water allocation for surface water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, growers in the Central and Northern Valley of California desperately need more irrigation water.