This month's rain is having a wide-range of effects to summer hay.
Hay prices are expected to be low and fair due to an increase in supply, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources, Lonnie Jenschke.
“It’s kind of like everything else,” he said. “It depends on supply and demand. With all the rainfall, supply will go up. The rainfall has been wonderful. I think we’ve been getting rain every weekend for several months now.”
Travis Bourriague of Rockin’ R Ranch Supply had some professional insight on the matter. He said that common sense would think that hay prices would go down due to the significant amount of rain that the area has gotten this year, but he also made a fair argument against it.
“The rain’s been really good for the hay growers, but it also depends on how long it takes for the fields to dry out," he said. "If we keep getting the rain, it’s going to prolong when they can get their cutting done.”
Bourriague’s insight was confirmed by the Weekly Texas Hay Report on the USDA Market News website.
The report was updated May 8 and stated that prices were mostly unchanged as “trade activity was slow on light to moderate demand” compared to the last report.
“Baling hay and moving hay out of fields has become difficult as much of the area received more rainfall to start off the week,” the report stated. “New crop prices are still being established and only a few trades have been reported. Some fair to good quality alfalfa prices have been reported as producers are trying to get rid of last year’s supply."
The report shows coastal Bermuda in north, central and east Texas ranging from $50 to $75 per roll for large round bales and $7 to $8 for small square bales.
With the large amount of rodeo livestock in the area and performance horses, higher quality hay is typically used. Jenschke said that high quality hay is to keep its price, due to the high quality fertilizer used.
“Our area uses more high quality hay because of the dense population of performance horses. Higher hay quality has a higher protein content and less weeks in it,” said Jeschke. “It’s going to be cut when it’s a little younger and it’s going to be real leafy.”
There are many factors to be taken into consideration when predicting the future of a consumer market, and the hay market is no different.
All in all, according to professionals, analysts and experts, the hay market is looking promising so far this year.