Export market driving up hay prices

Mar 27, 2014 John Stumbos University of California, Davis
UC Davis researchers report on increased shipments to foreign destinations

March 27, 2014
(from Farm Journal)

Alfalfa harvester. (photo: John Stumbos / UC Davis)
Increased consumption of meat and dairy products in Asia and other countries is heating up the hay market in the western United States, where exports have shot up along with prices.

“Exports are now a major player in the demand for hay,” says Daniel Putnam, a UC Cooperative Extension agronomist and faculty member at UC Davis. “The export market has made the hay crop more economically viable for farmers throughout the western U.S.”

UC Davis feedlot. (photo: Ann Filmer / UC Davis)
The value of the U.S. export market for hay in 2012 was $1.22 billion, more than four times 1998’s $286 million, according to a paper published by Putnam; Daniel Sumner, director of the Agricultural Issues Center; and Bill Mathews, an AIC project scientist.

(Read the full article by Fran Howard published March 8, 2014, in the Farm Journal.)

Additional information:
•    View a presentation made on hay exports and dynamics of a world hay market made at the 2013 Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium.
•    Additional information about the dramatic increase in hay exports from western states is reported on the UC Cooperative Extension Alfalfa and Forage News blog.

Media contact:
•    Daniel Putnam, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, 530-752-8982,

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