U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released their agricultural prices received for September showing hay prices in Wyoming and Montana are up for the state but mixed for the country. Compared to last year, Wyoming has a $15 increase in the price of alfalfa hay per ton from $170 last September to $185 in September of 2019 while other hay only saw a $10 increase up to $150, while Montana alfalfa hay only increase five dollars to $145 this year.
Above: Hay prices received report from USDA NASS for September 2018, August 2019, and September 2019 in dollars per ton on premium hay.
We had a wet beginning to the haying season with rapid growth in the grasses and forages but some of the nutritional value may not be available in that hay.
University of Wyoming Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, Dr. Steve Paisley, says this year it may be more important than ever to test your hay.
“We had a lot of forage produced in this part of the country,” Paisley said, “certainly we think we have an abundance of forage in the stack yard, and that’s a good thing, but often we see with high forage production years that we probably need to test it because that plant can only capture so many nutrients. When we get that rapid forage growth the actual nutrient values of that hay or harvest grass is actually a little bit lower.”
Paisley also says because there is more tonnage the protein and energy get diluted out so the analysis comes back pretty low as far as those nutrients go in prairie hay samples.
Check out our Hay Markets page as well to compare prices and quality of hay across our region.
Steve Paisley- Beef Cattle Specialist UW Extension
Northern Ag Network – 2019