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Sauk Centre Hay Auctions Sept. Oct. 2012

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
   This is the first posting of my summaries of the Sauk Centre Hay Auction for the 2012-13 season. The first sale in September was the largest of 4 sales held now. It could be that buyers and sellers got busy with harvest after the first sale.
   Look at averages carefully, especially when they cover a small number of loads. Also take a close look a situations where there might be an odd load in the bunch. Large Round Alfalfa RFV 151-175 on October 18 is an example of this. There were 4 loads listed at $210 to $240 and one load listed at $40 per ton. Sometimes this is a load that is in poor physical condition, even though it tested in the range. Sometimes it is a data error. For me in this case, it doesn't make sense to include it in the average.
   I will list the postings here and some other sources of hay market information are listed in the extra reading.

Sept 6 2012 SC Hay Auction.pdf SC Hay Auction  Lots sold are grouped by bale type, kind of hay and 25 RFV points for alfalfa, and based on protein for grass. Averages are calculated where it seem appropriate.
Sept 20 2012 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Same Format
Oct 4 20 12 Hay Auction.pdf  Same Format
Oct 18 2012 SC Hay Auction.pdf Same Format

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf  Average and Range of RFV and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa by 25 RFV points from 101 to 200 RFV for sales so far this year. Medium Square straw is also listed. This also lists season-long average and range values for each of the last 5 years.

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf   Line graph of markets for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 2001 to present time. This year's line is Maroon. Dotted lines indicate where there were not any loads in the group at a sale. This graph starts with October sales; so there's not much on it yet for 2013

Corn Stalks 2010 to 2012.pdf  This is list of all the corn stalk sales during the 2010-11 sale season and 2011-12 season in a effort to get a more composite look at corn stalk prices. You can draw your own conclusions about whether it is useful.

This auction is conducted by the Mid-American Auction Co. at Sauk Centre Minnesota on the first and third Thursday of each month September through May. It is requested that loads be on hand by 10:30 a.m. so samples can be taken. The sale starts at 12:30

*Get in the Market

Whether you have hay to sell or are looking for hay, keep at the task. Too often we put up extra hay and then it lays in the weather for 2 or 3 years and is wasted. People are looking for hay. People have made some extra hay. You don't have to sell it or buy it all at once, but let's get started.

*Hay Market Information - A Sampling

*The USDA Hay Market Reports can be found at:

Look for hay in the center of the page. A long list of market information will show up. Some of it is from actual hay auctions, such as the one for Pipestone MN. This is not a "quality tested" hay auction. Someone estimates quality, or the seller might have a test result from sampling they did.

Some reports are weekly surveys done by USDA Ag Statistics Service such as the South Dakota East River Market. I'm told this market has a strong influence by the dairy belt along eastern SD.

 *Wisconsin Extension Educator Ken Barnett does a weekly Upper Midwest Hay market summary that can be found at

 Ken looks at Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and north through our 5 state area. This year areas where the drought was more intense might show higher prices than where the hay crop was more normal.

 *The Stearns DHIA lab lists all the lots sold at the Sauk Centre Auction (September through May) at their website:

Stearns DHIA provides the information from the Auction that I use to do this summary.

I know people who are buying and selling hay on other Internet sites like Craig's list and others. Newspapers and shoppers provide good advertising opportunities also.  

So let's build responsible working relationships, make good use of feed resources and take good care of livestock through this feeding season.


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