This has been one interesting hay year for Central Oregon.  Mother Nature froze us all spring, which caused first cutting to be later than usual.  This pushed second closer to mid august for some growers, and third cutting, (if you got one) has been pretty small.  To make things worse,  a lot of second cutting got rained on in september.  Yields turned out to be decent, but with all the rained on hay out there, good quality horse feed will be harder and harder to find.

I have been talking to some small time brokers, and they are already having a hard time finding quality feed to fill the demands of their valley customers.  For this early in the season, this could mean some serious price spiking come January.   If you are shopping for hay, get it now, because later in the year there just won’t be any.  I don’t think it will be as bad as 2008, when prices jumped up to $240-$260 a ton, but I will not be suprised in the least if we see hay flirting around $200 a ton. 

Earlier this season, orchard grass was moving slowly, and around $110 per ton.  Barns were full, and hay was just not moving.  Talking with some alfalfa growers, they said that they managed to get their alfalfa up and tested, and some premium dairy quality was being trucked out of the area, but with milk prices in the tank, demand was just not there.  Now with the rain and the positive milk price movement, alfalfa will be getting moved quicker.  I am feeling bullish on the fall/winter prices, and maybe with all the alfalfa being plowed up down in Klamath Falls, the trend might actually last a few years.

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