The long wait for 1st cutting hay will be a little longer than most years.  With this cool spring, orchard grass and alfalfa fields are not getting the heat needed to grow.  Farmers will either have to settle for lower yields, or wait longer and risk loosing the 3rd or 4th cutting in the fall.  Usually Madras leads the pack and some  hay is baled by the 5th of June or so.  Culver and Redmond follows about two weeks behind.  By the 16th of June there is a substancal amount of hay on the market, but this year it could be closer to the 21st or even later. 

There is a chance the weather could turn, but the 7 day forecast looks like more mild weather.  If it stays in the area, Madras farmers won’t be able to cut because of rain.  One great benefit of this cooler weather for horse owners is that first cutting will be less mature and be higher quality.  The downside will be a tighter market and prices could stay in the $200 range all summer instead of $150-sh market we have seen for the last couple of years.

If you are reading this in Central Oregon, or all over the world, comment and tell us the status of your hay crop!