Hay supplies tight; Record hay prices — Beef Magazine

Photo credit: Bob Berwyn

Click the link to read the article on the Beef Magazine website (Derrell Peel). Here’s an excerpt:

The August Crop Production report released recently by USDA-NASS included forecasts for hay production in selected states and the U.S. Total production of alfalfa hay in 2022 is forecast at 49.1 million tons, down 0.3 percent from 2021 levels and 13.6 percent below the ten-year average from 2011-2020. All other hay production for 2022 is forecast at 67.7 million tons, down 4.6 percent year over year and down 7.4 percent from the ten-year average. Total 2022 U.S. hay production is forecast at 116.8 million tons, down 2.9 percent from one year ago and down 10.1 percent from the 2011-2020 average. Alfalfa and other hay prices are forecast at record levels in 2022.

Drought reduced hay production in 2021 with continued impacts in 2022. May 1 hay stocks were down 6.9 percent year over year but were down 16.9 percent from the 2011-2020 average.The total hay supply for the 2022-2023 hay crop year (May-April) is the sum of May 1 (beginning) hay stocks and 2022 hay production. The total hay supply is projected to be down 3.4 percent year over year and is down 11.0 percent from the ten-year average (Table 1)…

Table 1. May 1 Hay Stocks, Hay Production and Total Hay Supply, Top Ten States and U.S., 2022. Forecast; USDA-NASS, Crop Production, August 2022

With the growing season winding down amid continuing drought, the 2022 hay supply data illustrate why so much herd liquidation has occurred this year. It also speaks to the continuing challenges that cattle producers will face to get through the winter before the 2023 growing season could provide the next opportunity for improved forage conditions.

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