Rain that hit late last week and forecasted rain in the coming week not only delayed early new crop alfalfa hay production in several areas of the West but also pushed early new crop Supreme alfalfa hay prices higher than expected in Washington and Idaho.

Only a small amount of higher quality alfalfa hay was put up before the rain late last week in those two states. Rain was forecasted on Tuesday of this week in the northern San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys in California and in the Columbian Basin in Washington. In Central California, rain was forecast for three to five days this week, depending on the location. Rain is forecast for seven of the next 10 days in Yerington, Nev.

In Idaho, rain is predicted for the next eight to 10 days in the southern part of the state. The outlook is for not much higher quality alfalfa hay coming out of first cutting in southern Idaho. Buyers are hoping that better quality alfalfa hay will be produced in eastern Idaho where hay production should start in early to mid-June.

Seth Hoyt

Author of The Hoyt Report, providing hay market analysis and insight.