State-By-State Hay Summary

Colorado—In the March 3 report, compared to last report, trade activity light to moderate on good demand for horse hay markets. Trade activity light on moderate to good demand for feedlot and dairy hay markets. Bulk of trades went to stable and retail markets. Horse hay sold mostly steady this week. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s High Plains Summary for March 1, for much of the winter of 2021-22, the High Plains were beset by sharp temperature fluctuations and only periodic precipitation, leaving drought largely intact through the cold season.

Missouri—In the March 3 report, compared to last report, hay supplies are moderate, demand is light to moderate and hay prices mostly steady. March arrived like a lamb this week and although there was another batch of winter weather late last week, the forecast, which had no winter weather predictions for at least another week was much more exciting to talk about. Frost is leaving the ground in some areas making for a lot of mud, but farmers will soon be looking for dry spots to spread fertilizer. Several reports of farmers that are choosing to forgo that or spread much less especially on pastures this year due to the extremely high price levels. For those truly in the business of making hay and not just selling surplus however, this becomes a much less viable option.

Nebraska—In the March 3 report, compared to last week on comparable trades, all reported hay products sold steady. Demand and buyer inquiry was good. Some reports that cattlemen with smaller groups of cow-calf pairs might dry lot their herds due to the abnormally dry pasture conditions. These cattlemen are inquiring about available forage resources. Some farmers turned pivots on wheat and rye across some areas of the state along with some watering alfalfa. In the Panhandle, large squares still going to out of state buyers in Montana, Western Wyoming, and Colorado. Folk wisdom saw March come in like a lamb. Hopefully the lion side of the saying will come true with some much needed moisture this month.

Oklahoma—In the March 4 report, compared to the last report, due to the lack of moisture even with the winter weather storm it has allowed the hay market to increase in the amount of trades. Oklahoma is still in an abnormally dry or worse condition. Some moisture was received but not enough to allow change in the drought conditions. The Oklahoma Mesonet shows just over half of the state in an extreme drought condition or worse and much of this being primarily in the western part of Oklahoma. Next report will be released March 25.

Texas—In the March 4 report, compared to the last report,hay prices are mostly firm to $5 higher in all regions. Hay demand has picked up, but truck shortages and increased freight costs by as much as 25% have put a strain on moving hay and increased prices. That cost will continue to be passed on to the buyers, with operating costs are projected to keep rising through 2022. As producers get ready to prep fields and begin planting for next year, inflation is on there minds both in the form of trucking and inputs needed to put up a quality crop. ERS estimates an annual price increase of 235 percent for anhydrous ammonia, 149 percent for urea, and 192 percent for liquid nitrogen as of December 2021. As a result, some producers are considering growing less forages for this upcoming year to try to manage the increase in input prices, and the difficulty finding trucking on the back side of the production. There is still a lot of higher quality hay moving into the state from Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Next report will be released March 18.

New Mexico—The hay growing season is over. Last report for the season was issued Nov. 5, 2021. Reports will resume in April 2022.

South Dakota—In the March 3 report, compared to last week,all classes of hay remain steady. Good demand remains for all types and qualities of forage yet the market activity has slowed considerably. Much warmer weather this week, which was a welcome reprieve after the brutal cold last week. Most of the state still remains without any snow cover. Hay supplies are very limited across the state, which is supporting the market. A large supply of corn stalk bales are available.

Wyoming—In the March 4 report, compared to last week, all reported forge products sold steady. Demand and buyer inquiry was good. All reporting contacts in the Western side of the state are sold out of hay and continue to wait for trucks to pick up hay. All contacts in this area continue to get calls as livestock owners continue to look for hay to procure. Few, contacts in the eastern side of the state have some big squares to sell and these loads are going to Montana, western Wyoming, and some into Colorado. All continue to hope Mother Nature will deliver a heavy wet snow or rain this spring to aid in forage green up and growth. Per NRCS in Wyoming this week average snowpack is at 82% for the state. Same week last year was at 91% and in 2020 was at 113%. Next report will be released March 17.

Montana—In the March 4 report, compared to last week, hay sold generally steady. Hay movement was slow to moderate this week, however interest in hay remains good as supplies of hay remain tight. Producers are discussing at what price levels they want to contract hay for this summer. The most common price most producers and ranchers threw out was $200/ton but no one has established any contract sales at this point. Additionally, many producers are looking at other grain prices and are debating switching fields to wheat or barley instead of alfalfa this spring. Prices for wheat have increased drastically following the current conflict in eastern Europe. Also producers are concerned with current fuel prices and being able to deliver hay at an affordable cost going forward. Freight rates are currently hovering around $6 to $7.50 a loaded mile depending on the size of the load. Drought concerns continue to be another factor weighing on both ranchers and producers, however some much needed moisture has been seen this week with more expected.