Most areas of the province are reporting the completion of 2nd and/or 3rd cut alfalfa and some areas are taking or waiting to take the final cut till after the Critical Harvest Period (CHP). I surveyed the MAFRD forage staff and some of the forage industry personnel to get their impression of hay prices and the hay situation as of mid September.
The hay situation varies throughout the province with the Southwest reporting that second cut alfalfa is complete with yields average to above and final cut likely closer to CHP. Quality is good depending on rain. Greenfeed silage yields are average to above and corn silage is above average in yield. There are reports of straw being harder to source.
The Northwest indicates some haying continued on native hay and some second cut alfalfa/grass mixes being harvested as well. Here yields are below average and native hay yields will help determine final supplies.
Central reports second cut hay harvest is complete in the southern area with good yield and quality. Some 3rd cut is being taken or waiting till after CHP.
The northern portion has been delayed due to weather and 2nd cut won’t likely come off till after a frost. Native hay fields west of Lake Manitoba are wet making harvest difficult.
The Eastern area reports that 2nd / 3rd cut is complete and final cut of alfalfa is being cut now or waiting till after the CHP. There are reports of surplus to adequate forage supplies with quality still an issue for top quality feed. Straw supplies maybe limited due to wet conditions, in the late harvest cereals, that have made baling difficult.
Interlake is reporting that 2 nd cut is complete along with native hay. Corn silage is nearing harvest with good yield potential. Hay supplies are ranging from a slight shortage to a slight surplus.
The Western portion reports alfalfa in the 6-7 cents/lb range, Alfalfa/Grass at 4-6 cents/lb and beef hay is priced at 3- 4.5 cents/lb depending on quality. Straw is being sold at $6-10 per bale in the swath.
The Interlake reports alfalfa at 6 cents/lb, alfalfa/grass ranging from 4.5-6 cents/lb and beef hay at 4.5 cents/lb. Greenfeed is selling at 1.5 cents/wet lb standing.
The Eastern area reports Dairy hay at 8-10 cents /lb , alfalfa/grass hay at 6 cents/lb , beef hay at 3-5 cents varying due to rain or late maturity and straw at 3 cents/lb.
The Central portion reports dairy quality hay at 8-10 cents/lb, alfalfa/grass at 5-6 cents/lb , beef hay at 4-6 cents/lb and straw in the 2-3 cent/lb range.
Participate in the Hay Situation Survey for September
With the extreme variation in the hay situation this year, we would like to get your input as to the hay situation on your farm by answering a few questions. Findings will be reported in upcoming MFGA eBulletins.
Compiled by John McGregor, MFGA Extension Support