This the first posting of my summaries of the Hay Auction at Sauk Centre for the 2013-2014 market year. I am posting the results of auctions held July 11, August 1 Sept 6 and 20, 2013.
It's probably too early to draw firm conclusions about market trends. Drought was generally not as intense across the Midwest this year. Pastures and hay fields did dry up after mid-summer in some areas of Minnesota and other parts of the country. Alfalfa winter-kill was severe in southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Many people I talk expect better quality alfalfa and grass hay at least to stay on the higher side of the market.
See links below for these auction reports; followed by some suggestions about other sources of hay market information. Lots sold are grouped by bale type, kind of hay, alfalfa sorted in 25 RFV point groups, grass sorted based on protein. Straw and bedding materials are also listed.
Averages are calculated where it seems appropriate. Look at averages carefully where there are a few loads in a group; and where there is a wide range of price. Wide price ranges usually mean some hay might have been in poor physical condition and did not sell well. Hay in better condition in the group brought a higher price. If you're looking for hay with better physical condition, you're probably going to pay a higher price.
July 11 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
Aug 1 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
Sept 5 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
Sept 19 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV. Includes averages through the last 4 sale seasons and for individual auctions held in July, August, and September 2013.
The Sauk Centre Hay Auction will be held on the first and third Thursday of each month through May. The Steffes Hay Auction is held in Litchfield with fall dates so far on October 8, 22 and November 12.
You can check more hay market info at USDA HAY Market (Site unavailable as of October 2 because of Government Budget Shut Down)
Select "hay" in the middle of the page. I like the East River South Dakota Market as another close by "dairy" market perspective.
Upper Midwest Hay Market
Ken Barnett at UW Extension offers a Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest at http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm
Follow common sense precautions in making on-line contacts and transactions. People also use Craig's list and similar website market tools to buy and sell hay.
Agricultural newspapers and local shoppers and community newspapers continue to be good tools for advertising "hay for sale" or "hay wanted".
People who need to purchase hay and other livestock feeds should be shopping early and working closely with nutrition advisors to make the best of resources with different groups of livestock.
CORN SILAGE PRICING
This has been a hot topic this fall and there are many approaches to the task. Buyer's and sellers need to figure out what they want to guess about and whether there is something they can count, measure, weigh or test that is helpful. It's certainly more difficult with widely variable field conditions.
Here's a list of some Corn Silage Pricing articles that I find helpful. If you found this to be a confusing process, some of this information might be helpful winter reading ahead of the 2014 chopping season. By the time we get to snaplage and high moisture corn harvest, yield estimates based on kernel moisture and wet weight can be used.
Corn Silage Pricing Resources.pdf