Growing Quality Hay to Meet Market Demand
June 20, 2008
The hay situation in Nebraska and throughout the country offers some strong profit opportunities as well as some pitfalls for alfalfa growers.
|With expectations of $170 dairy hay and $50 roughage hay this winter, which one would you rather be selling? Why not produce dairy quality hay?|
The market forecast for grinding hay and stock cow hay is a bit murkier. Increased use of alternative feeds in feedlots and by cow-calf producers is affecting the market for lsome hays. Economical corn byproducts have enabled feedlots to cut their alfalfa use in half and byproducts are being used more and more by cow-calf operations as a good winter supplement for added energy and protein. Also, the supply of roughages for dry cows, including corn stalks, also appears to be increasing. Given these influences, prices for this kind of hay may have downward price pressure.
If you plan to sell hay, do all you can to make dairy hay. Cut early. Make square bales even if you must hire it done. And store under cover.
It wouldn't surprise me to hear of $170 dairy hay and $50 roughage hay this winter. Which one would you rather be selling?
Extension Forage Specialist