Hay and forage producers in the Midwest are sending more hay west this year to drought-stricken states. Barb Baier, Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association Executive Director, says a lot of hay is moving west.
“There’s a few areas that have great yield, perfect timing, but you get out West and it’s really dry, so there’s been quite a bit of hay movement out of the state, and west into the Dakotas and into Montana. So, what’s moving now seems to be largely the mid to lower range hays to the cow-calf guys. Dairy hay there’s never enough dairy hay available, it’s always short, but up in this area in Wisconsin this year they’ve had ample rains, so I think we’ll have another good marketing year.”
That’s also changed the market for Nebraska hay producers; “Oh absolutely, yes, our Nebraska market is from the Rockies east. However, this year we’ve gone, quite a bit of it’s gone north and into Montana, there good prices going that direction, Wyoming shorts, the Panhandle’s short, so yes, there’s a lot of movement of Nebraska hate going into those markets.”
The drought is changing prices for hay as well; “Typically, you’ll see anywhere from a 30 to maybe even a $40 margin between dairy hay and the cow-calf hay, and that margin is a lot tighter right now, you might see 20 to $30 margin difference between quality’s a hay which is unusual.”
She says producers looking for hay can contact the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association; “On our website, we have inventory listings that our members post on what hays they have available. they can contact that girl directly, they’ll be able to quote a price, arrange trucking, delivering, that sort of thing. There’s also an 800 number on that website, which is my office, and they’re more than welcome to call me and I’ll try to help them narrow down their search and locate what they might be looking for.”
That website is nebraska-alfalfa.com.