Hay Supply Projected Higher

Hay Supply Projected Higher Though harvest area is on par with earlier estimates, USDA has raised its estimated average hay yield for 2009. Alfalfa hay production is projected to be the largest since 2005 and other hay the largest since 2004. Consequently, current Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) forecasts put 2009-10 hay marketing year prices well below a year ago with the national average all hay price down about 25%.

Plus, LMIC analysts note, “Hay markets are very regional, and some areas of the U.S. will likely see larger year-to-year price declines.”

For the week ending Aug. 16, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Corn – 96% is at or beyond silking, 1% behind last year and 2% behind the five-year average. Development was most active in Michigan and the Dakotas, where 20% or more of the corn crop began silking during the week. 40% is at or beyond the dough stage, 6% behind last year, and 24% slower than average. Some of the biggest delays were evident throughout the Corn Belt where Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota, four of the top five corn-producing states, were 27 points or more behind normal. 9% of acreage reached the dent stage, 3% behind last year and 17% behind normal. Denting progressed most rapidly in North Carolina and Tennessee, where above average temperatures prevailed during the week. 68% is reported Good to Excellent, 1% more than a year ago.

Soybeans – Blooming reached 93% overall. That’s on par with last year, but 3% behind average. Blooming remained at or behind normal across the Corn Belt. Pod setting reached 72%, which is one point behind last year, and 13% behind average. Pod set was active across much of the growing region, as warm temperatures and timely rainfall provided ideal growing conditions. 66% is rated as Good to Excellent, which is 4% more than at the same time last year.

Winter wheat – 94% of the crop is harvested, 1% behind last year, 3% slower than average. Harvest remained active in the Pacific Northwest, Michigan, Montana and South Dakota during the week.

Spring wheat – 13% has been harvested, which is 20% behind last year and 35% or more than two weeks behind the average pace. Despite an active harvest pace across much of the growing region, progress remained behind normal in all estimating states. 74% of the crop was rated Good to Excellent, 18% more than a year ago.

Barley – 11% is harvested, which is 28% in back of last year and 41% behind the average pace. Harvest was most active in Washington, where producers utilized more five days suitable for fieldwork to reap 18% of their crop. However, progress remained significantly behind normal. 78% is rated Good to Excellent, which is 26% more than a year ago.

Sorghum – 74% is at or beyond heading, 1% ahead of last year, but 5% behind the average pace. Progress was most active in Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska where 20% or more of the crop developed heads during the week. Sorghum coloring has reached 36% complete, 4% behind last year and five points behind the five-year average. 29% has reached maturity, 1% more than last year, and 2% more than average. Maturation was well underway in the Delta and Texas. Elsewhere, maturity was just beginning in Colorado and had yet to begin in the remaining estimating states. 26% is in the bin, 1% more than last year and 4% more than average. 47% is rated Good to Excellent, 7% less than the same time a year ago.

Oats – 62% of the crop is in the bin, which is 11% behind last year and 20% behind the five-year average. Harvest remained active in many states across the growing region, with the most rapid harvest occurring in Wisconsin. 57% was rated Good and Excellent.

Pasture – 50% of the nation’s pasture and range is still rated as Good or Excellent this summer, 10% more than at the same time last year. 23% is rated Poor or Very Poor, compared to 29% a year ago.

States with the worst pasture conditions – at least 40% of the acreage rated Poor or worse – include: Arizona (63%); California (90%); New Mexico (44%); Oregon (40%); and Texas (53%).

The lushest conditions – at least 40% rated Good or better – exist in: Alabama (74%); Arkansas (55%); Colorado (72%); Florida (85%); Georgia (46%); Idaho (66%); Illinois (72%); Indiana (62%); Iowa (67%); Kansas (60%); Kentucky (81%); Louisiana (46%); Maine (74%); Maryland (55%); Minnesota (44%); Mississippi (48%); Missouri (67%); Nebraska (73%); Nevada (49%); New York (70%); North Carolina (54%); North Dakota (69%); Ohio (56%); Oklahoma (48%); Pennsylvania (63%); South Dakota (76%); Tennessee (77%); Utah (65%); Virginia (70%); West Virginia (71%); and Wyoming (64%).