The Oct. 19 USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report shows U.S. hay supplies are likely to be fairly tight and expensive this winter, particularly if a more-normal winter develops following last year's mild one. Hay production was forecast at 147 million tons this year, down 2.4% from the 2005 total. May 1 hay stocks were down 23%, and dry conditions in many areas forced hay feeding this past summer.
The September farm price of other hay averaged $93/ton, up from $78.90 a year ago. The alfalfa hay price averaged $112/ton, up from $106 in September 2005.
The report says pasture conditions continue a modest recovery, but favorable temperatures and moisture are still needed to accumulate much-needed growth for winter grazing. Wheat and other small grain pasture grazing potential are still very uncertain, as they were last fall, although recent moisture will help.
-- eHay Weekly