Beef Buzz News
Concern Grows For Adequate and Affordable Hay Supplies as Drought Conditions Intensify Across The CountryWed, 21 Oct 2020 08:20:40 CDT
We’ve been watching drought conditions all year slowly expand throughout cattle country from Oklahoma west to California. The impact on cattle feed, especially hay is starting to show in the market.
Katelyn McCullock, director and senior agricultural economist for the Livestock Marketing Information Center, based in Denver, Colo., talks about that impact on today’s Beef Buzz.
Hay supplies are being hit hard by the drought, she said.
Essentially the western states have had extreme dryness that has impacted particularly other non-alfalfa hay crops, she said.
Typically, alfalfa would be irrigated and managed differently than other hay crops.
The USDA estimates that prices for other hay jumped six percent compared to a year ago in August to $137 per ton, while alfalfa dropped four percent to $172 per ton.
One of the unique things happening this year is other hay is outpacing alfalfa prices, she said.
McCullock predicted hay prices will continue to be impacted into early 2021.
I think the drought has put more pressure on the cow/calf sector, she said.
Hay stocks have been tight for several years and we are going to see that level drawn down to a very low level by historical terms, she said.
If Mother Nature cooperates, the price increase won’t last that long, maybe until producers can get that first cutting in next spring.
However, McCullock said on the cattle feeding side, she doesn’t anticipate alfalfa prices changing that much.
Click here to view the hay market summary by the Livestock Marketing Information Center.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more comments from McCullock.
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