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Near Record Hay Yields???


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#1 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:47 AM

The USDA came out with it's October Crop Production Report stating that the 2010 alfalfa yield was the 6th largest in history and that the grass hay yield was the 3rd largest. I was wondering what the actual producers are seeing? Everywhere I seem to go, people are telling me that there hay was short this year. If they had good hay, it was hard to make because of the weather. I know mine was in Va. and ND. So does the report take into account quality hay or does it make any difference? I feel sure there is a lot of grinder hay in some areas but some cattlemen are traveling a long way to get there hay supplies. I would hope we could take a poll and see where the record hay crop is coming from. Please give your comments and say where you are located. Mike

#2 haybaler101

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:11 PM

The USDA reports are all based on a sampling they send to farmers to report back. I have been on the list this year for all crops. I get a survey about every 2 weeks in the mail and if I don't send it back, then I get phone calls to do it over the phone. The hay survey doesn't include anything for quality except a column for "alfalfa" and one for "other hay" or grass hay. It all depends on the attitude of the people responding to the surveys. If you report a huge tonnage of rained on junk alfalfa, it is still classified with premium dairy quality alfalfa. All USDA reports have a tendency to be skewed in one direction or another. At least with alfalfa, you don't have investors on LaSalle St. in Chicago changing the price daily on what the USDA says like you do with corn and beans.
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#3 mlappin

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:35 PM

The way the first cutting went here I could almost believe the report. Course most of it was anywhere from a few weeks late to a few months late. Once it quit raining here in August though, the yields dropped off so fast even if all that earlier hay that was made was premium, the later cuttings would have whittled it down very quickly.
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#4 swmnhay

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 07:51 PM

Quality hay is in very short supply around here.

I don't know where the get the acres from.Less and less hay being grown around here.
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#5 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:43 PM

Cy, I think you are right. With the price of corn and beans , I think you will see a lot of hayland going into row crops. People are breaking up prairie in my area like I have never seen before. It has been amazing and somewhat sad to see. Even marginal land is being broke and the rocks are a flying. Hate to have my equipment in there. Dozers. excavators, payloaders and big Wishek offsets are everywhere. Looks like people are going grain crazy. I'll stick with the hay. Don't quite know what cattlemen are going to do about feed with these grain prices. I know one thing for sure, fertilizer prices will skyrocket. Mike :confused:

#6 downtownjr

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:57 AM

I think a lot of the hay ground in my area is really marginal ground and old pasture. Also, there may have been a lot of hay reported, but in many areas this year, folks on the board have stated wet weather, then dry weather impacted quality. As I recall Oregon had a tough year, the Midwest took a real beating, then dry in much of the Midwest and south. I yielded well the first cut, but it was cut mature due to wet weather or worse rained on after I cut it. Think that was the story throughout the region. Quality has to below average. I know I have to mix my good with some substandard hay this winter for the cows.
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#7 maknhay

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:04 PM

Well, I came in with a 5.8 ton/acre production this year thanks in part to an abundace of rainfall. But, as a result, about 25% of that qualified as grinder or dry cow hay. I moved EVERY bale of low quality hay to my buyers as fast as I could because there is no hay in hell it'll gain value this winter with so much in the reigon. On top of shrink, digging it out of snow banks when I'd rather be truckin' hay south and interest clocking up at the bank.........it's bye, bye time.

I've never took much stock in any USDA survey for the reasons haybaler101 has mentioned. And if they ain't willing to categorize qualities of hay.....it don't hold much merit.




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