Hay Export Market Status and Alfalfa Acreage

There are major changes occurring in alfalfa acreage across the country, especially in California, Nevada, and New Mexico. Part of this drop relates to very tight margins for dairy producers across the U.S. and the fact that dairy nutritionists have been finding ways to replace the protein and fiber benefit of alfalfa with other commodities. One of the major reasons for the drop in alfalfa hay being fed in CA is the abundance of almond hulls that provide decent nutrition and fiber at a low cost. Almond hulls are so cheap because of the dramatic increase in California almond production over the last few years. This increase in almond acres is directly affecting alfalfa acres in the state.

What are the implications to these trends for Kentucky hay producers? Actually, I’m not sure, but they are interesting and we do not live in a silo. ~Ray Smith, UK Forage Specialist. Note: if you are interested the presentations given at the workshop they should be available at the CA Alfalfa Workgroup website in the near future. You can find many valuable resources on this website and also videos of past meeting presentations.  https://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/