Hay Stocks See Regional Differences

The latest hay stocks report from USDA shows Wisconsin supply is down 30 percent from the year before. Meanwhile, out West, they’re seeing a hefty carryover supply that may bring their hay prices down, according to Josh Callen of The Hoyt Report.

Callen, a market analyst, covers hay markets in the seven Western states of the Continental U.S. But he says the cost of hauling hay negates any interest in hauling those bales to places like Wisconsin.

“The freight is always the limiting factor there — what’s it going to cost to get it moved to some of these different areas,” he says. “In other parts of the West, it’s really hard to make it work. We’re going to have this extra carryover of these lower grades. They’re going to want to probably have to lower prices to get most of it gone.”

He says one thing has remained certain: small bales or horse hay is a good market to be in.

“It’s becoming a little more niche. I think it’s just the extra labor that goes into it,” he says. “There’s been lots of demand in places like Florida, Kentucky, New York for that racehorse hay. I’d say that if you’re looking for a stable market going forward, the retail market is definitely going to be a better one for sure.”