The average hay price for alfalfa fell $19 per ton for July, which followed a $16 per ton drop during June and an $8 drop in May, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Prices report. The average alfalfa hay price settled at $244 per ton, putting it $34 per ton lower than one year ago.
The average price for Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay during July was $22 per ton lower than June and settled at $288.
Grass hay was pegged at $168 per ton in July, which was $4 lower than the previous month.
For the second consecutive month, no state posted double-digit gains in alfalfa price.
Double-digit declines in the July alfalfa hay price occurred in 16 of the 27 reported states. Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming were all down by $30 per ton while California, Colorado, and Oklahoma were down $20.
The highest average July alfalfa hay price was reported in New Mexico at $310 per ton. Oregon followed at $300 while Washington checked in at $290 per ton.
Midwest states continue to offer the lowest average hay prices. North Dakota was easily the lowest at $133 per ton. It was followed by Wisconsin at $150 per ton and South Dakota at $170.
Keep in mind that USDA average prices account for all qualities and bale types of hay sold. Also, the final U.S. estimate is a volume-weighted average rather than a simple average of state values. Those states with the most volume sales will impact the final U.S. dollar value more than those states with fewer sales.
Supreme and Premium
The USDA also tracks the prices of Supreme and Premium quality alfalfa in the major dairy states and determines an average price from the five top milk-producing states (California, Idaho, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin). This data is used to determine feed prices in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
For July, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay dropped by $22 per ton to $288. One year ago, the average price of Supreme and Premium alfalfa hay was $335 per ton.
The July average price of other hay (mostly grass) fell by $4 per ton to $168, which was $1 per ton lower than a year earlier.
The highest July price for hay other than alfalfa was reported in Washington at $275 per ton. Colorado followed at $260 per ton while Oregon checked in at $255.
North Dakota had the lowest reported other hay average price at $100 per ton. It was followed by Oklahoma at $108 and Wisconsin at $117.