Hay Tonnage Spikes In Southeastern Wyoming

February 16th, 2015 | Hay Sidebar

Wyoming hay prices are down from what they were this time last year thanks to a bountiful 2014 harvest.

A near-ideal growing season yielded four alfalfa cuttings at Dave Hinman’s Hardrock Farms, Wheatland. In an average year, he’ll take three cuttings and be happy.

Overall yield was up 25-30%, Hinman reports, and quality was average.

“It was a really good alfalfa and grass season. Available irrigation water, temperatures and production were all great in our area. Now there seems to be an abundance of hay.”

Hinman says most of the region’s premium hay has already been sold or spoken for. He thinks prices should stay stable through the rest of the winter, unless a market develops for lower-quality dairy hay.

“There is a lot of off-quality hay that either got rained on or just didn’t test well. But prices could push up a bit if we start getting snowstorms.”

Hinman puts up 750 acres of alfalfa in 4 x 4 x 8’ large bales and small squares. Most of his production, 60-65 semi loads each year, sells to a group of Amish dairy-goat farmers in the Kalona, IA, area.

“We met after I entered hay in the World Dairy Expo (World Forage Analysis Superbowl) in Madison,” Hinman explains. “I’ve been selling to them ever since … for about five years.”

The rest of Hinman’s hay goes to Wyoming beef ranchers, Colorado dairy producers, specialty goat farmers and horse owners and his own 230 beef cows.

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