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Hay Market Outlook
by Lacy Gray, click here for bio
Program: Washington Ag Today
Date: August 10, 12
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Over half of the country is now suffering drought conditions which have devastated crops and made finding hay for animal feed in the Midwest an extreme challenge. Washington, however, has been one of the few states this year virtually untouched by the drought. Combine that with the continually rising prices for crops and some experts say 2012 could be a record year for producers in the state. Shawn Claussen, a hay grower near Warden, talks about what’s happening now with the hay market.
CLAUSSEN: Market wise, I would say the market is holding steady, and being held up by the high commodity markets. There’s a lot of down pressure by the buyers this year. Mostly probably from the dairymen. The dairymen's market isn’t that good so they’re having a hard time financially to support these higher prices on hay. So I think that’s pushing the market down a little bit also.
Claussen says that as a rule hay will generally follow the corn market on a per ton basis, but that hasn’t really been reflected yet.
CLAUSSEN: It hasn’t been as aggressive as everybody thought it would be. We thought there would be a lot faster movement and faster deals being made. The price is fair but it’s just slow. Most farmers think there’s strength in the market, but it is not showing yet. The buyers are really pushing the market down again trying to keep the market price down.
Claussen also said that while shortages in the Midwest could mean higher prices here, not a lot of hay will probably be shipped from Washington to the Midwest due to shipping expenses. Midwest shortages though will mean less competition for Washington hay in the export markets.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.
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