Hay Supply and Prices
Short supplies of hay last year and increasing cost of production this year has put pressure on hay markets. Finding reasonably priced hay (it’s up to you to define ‘reasonably’) has been challenging. Gary Wilson, OSU Extension Hancock County, writes in his recent newsletter:
Establishing a price for hay is difficult. A national market price structure for hay does not exist, so effective marketing is very important in getting a good price. Most cash hay producers rely on a combination of experience, assessing the demand, and knowing what others are asking as guidelines in establishing an asking price for hay. Needless to say, hay prices should take into account all costs associated with production, storage, advertising, and hauling the product; therefore, record keeping is very important. Price the product competitively and realistically, the availability and cost of other feedstuffs may affect the price. Some markets provide a greater premium than others for high-quality hay. Know what the requirements are to achieve those premiums and what forage tests are necessary to document the hay quality.
There are two sites that I use as a barometer for hay prices: www.hayexchange.com and [2nd link removed by author 6/23/09 due to spam]. If you have different or better sites, please let me know by posting a comment on this blog or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.