Will 2017 Hay Prices Soar or Bore?

Make it three — three consecutive months when hay prices have pushed higher, according to USDA’s Agricultural Prices report released last week. But should that excite hay market sellers and depress those on the buying side? Let’s take a deeper look.

The all-hay price bumped to $143 per ton, up $11 per ton from the previous month and only $1 lower than April 2016. Hay other than alfalfa was up $5 per ton from $127 to $132, which is $7 per ton higher than April 2016. The positive sign here is that hay prices are at least holding steady with 2016. Year-to-year hay prices have been in a continual decline since 2014, and the last time the April hay price was higher than the previous year was 2013.

The margin for hay-supply error has certainly narrowed, and there is good reason to believe that prices have hit bottom. But how much upside is there going to be relative to 2016? That’s really the pertinent question. I believe it will mostly hinge on Mother Nature and livestock prices, though other factors will play supportive roles in specific regions. For example, both export and dairy markets compete for available hay resources in the West. ~ Mike Rankin. For full article, visit HayandForageGrower.com.