Hay

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Bestoutwest

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I don't know what everyone's situation for hay is this year, but it's pretty tight here. I'm in the Treasure Valley portion of Idaho. We're losing hay ground to housing developments. With some of these developments, people are moving onto 5 acre homestead type places, so they're buying up hay. We have a few places that are somewhat close that lost irrigation water starting in June. So they're coming to our area to buy hay.

To top it off we're in drought conditions.

We'll see how this plays out.
 

JParrott

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Missouri has been great for hay and grass for the past few years, especially spring cuttings - they've just been occurring a week or two later than usual. The last couple of summers have been dry from the end of July through the beginning of October making fall cutting numbers less, but the grazing has been stronger and lasted longer into the winter to make up for the traditional summer slump.

I see quite a few truckloads of hay headed north and west. I assume people in the hard hit drought areas are going to be choosing between feeding and holding onto herd numbers or selling and looking for opportunity to buy and build back up later on.
 

Stocker Steve

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Horse women often set the market price here. Some prefer to pay cash so there is no paper trail for their husband.

Half the cowmen here are chasing byproducts. That market is wild right now, and there will be a lot of disappointment this fall.

The mega drought continues in many areas. I think if you put a pencil to it, most of us in the north and the west would make more money with fewer beef cows. How much have you reduced your herd?
 

Dave

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I am not too far west of Best. Hay is $200 a ton FOB the stack. And a bit scarce at that price. A lot of native meadow grass hay wasn't even cut this year because there wasn't enough grass to make it worth while cutting. Depending on where you get your irrigation water, a lot of that was cut off early as there was no water in the reservoirs. Better make sure you go into the winter with enough hay because come January there just wont be any available at any price.
 

MurraysMutts

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Down here its spotty.
I've got the same amount stacked as I actually used last year.
I dont think it will be enough. Gonna have to get another 20 or 30 bales.
Glad I got what I got now!
I think with this dry spell, prices are gonna start climbing.
 

SBMF 2015

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Just started mowing 3rd cutting last night. It looks light, but if it doesn't get wet the quality will be out of sight. Should be in good shape going into fall. If I think I'm going to be short, I'll just roll more stalks and chop a couple more acres of corn.
 
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Bestoutwest

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Just bought a stack of alfalfa, small bales. 96 bales $960 delivered. When dropping it off he asked if we had discussed a price and I said we had $10/bale. This was from July. He winced b/c they are now getting $14/bale. For a small bale (70#). That's not including the $50 pickup and $7/mile fee hay movers are getting here. I had been thinking about getting out of having my hay done, but this is crazy here. Hopefully this winter is a bit wetter than last year. This whole thing started b/c we got rain in February a couple of times and then nothing until June. Then once and pretty much nothing since. I'm not sure what next year will bring.
 

MurraysMutts

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Just bought a stack of alfalfa, small bales. 96 bales $960 delivered. When dropping it off he asked if we had discussed a price and I said we had $10/bale. This was from July. He winced b/c they are now getting $14/bale. For a small bale (70#). That's not including the $50 pickup and $7/mile fee hay movers are getting here. I had been thinking about getting out of having my hay done, but this is crazy here. Hopefully this winter is a bit wetter than last year. This whole thing started b/c we got rain in February a couple of times and then nothing until June. Then once and pretty much nothing since. I'm not sure what next year will bring.
Good alfalfa squares have been 12 bucks here for 2 years now. That's not delivered either.
 

kentuckyguy

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Luckily this year we are set on hay. I realize the price of hay seems high to purchase but in my opinion it’s a deal.

When you look at the cost of equipment, fuel, fertilizer I don’t know how people sells 4x5 rolls for $30-35.

A 7ft disc mower is $10K fertilizer is $620 ton and fuel over $3 gallon. I know I couldn’t sell my hay for $30 and make much profit.
 

jltrent

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The spring cutting was off 30-40%, but the fall cutting around here is not great, but fairly good. For about the last week and a half I have been in hay or hay related 10-12 hours a day it seems. Got done yesterday what I had down and I am tired today. As mentioned about making hay is not cheap, but with the price of cattle how can you put the cost of what some of this hay is selling for and come out? Looking at the price of cattle sold in the paper recently around here and it is a rerun of about 20-30 years ago. I let my cattle do the 3rd cutting.
 

sstterry

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The spring cutting was off 30-40%, but the fall cutting around here is not great, but fairly good. For about the last week and a half I have been in hay or hay related 10-12 hours a day it seems. Got done yesterday what I had down and I am tired today. As mentioned about making hay is not cheap, but with the price of cattle how can you put the cost of what some of this hay is selling for and come out? Looking at the price of cattle sold in the paper recently around here and it is a rerun of about 20-30 years ago.
Baled my fall cutting this past weekend. It turned out well (not enough to make up for the Spring, but still good). But, I did spread Urea after the first cutting.
 

Rafter S

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We had a unusually wet summer through about the end of July, so a lot of hay was put up. Rain just about stopped after that, but we've had a few scattered showers so we're still in pretty good shape.

And housing development has had a different effect on us. Large places that had cattle before are being broken up and sold to people wanting to move to the country. Their places often aren't big enough to run cattle, and the new owners don't want to anyway, so if they don't have a horse or two eating the grass down to bare dirt they're happy to make hay on it to keep their taxes down. I have a couple friends who do a little custom baling, and it's not unusual for people to give them the hay for the cutting and baling.

Thirty or forty years ago it wasn't uncommon for custom balers to cut, rake, and bale your place in return for half the hay. Then it went to 75%, and now I don't know of anyone who will do it at all unless you give them the hay, and even then they sometimes don't want it.
 
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