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Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary October 17, 2013

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

I am posting the results of auction held October 17, 2013. The next auction at Sauk Centre is on November 7. I appreciate the Mid-American Quality Tested Hay Auction and Stearns DHIA Lab for sharing information used here.

Lots sold are grouped here 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 appropriated. Look at averages carefully where there are a few loads in a group; and where there is a wide range of price.

Oct 17 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.

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf This is a graph of Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV points from 101 to 200.

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 on November 12 & 26, December 11.

For information about
-Straw and Bedding Materials in Short Supply?
-Other sources of Hay Market Information
-Coming Events


I've had several calls indicating that straw is hard to find. The late spring put a damper on small grain crops. Late planted corn makes for a late fall harvest, and concerns about getting time to bale dry corn stalks. Alternating 2-3 days of rain/snow with a couple days of sun makes it more challenging.

It might be a year when grain farmers give up a little of the benefit of keeping crop residue on the land for the benefit of livestock producing neighbors. There might be a financial return to baling some corn stalks, or letting livestock producers come over to bale. Some people are able to trade some manure returned for value of bedding material.

For people with straw and other bedding material available, advertising in local shoppers, the Dairy Star, local papers, is a good choice. Internet exchanges can be useful. Use due diligent to establish credibility in the market place.

Is there a way to "think outside of the box" a little? I'm not sure. Does a town or city near you have a leaf collection program? Does a business near you have shredded paper? Does tree trimming business or city near you have a wood chipping pile that might make a good base for out-door bedded packs? Can you get a chance to put up mature grass meadows? Do you have a grass pasture or meadow, or field that would make a bigger area for some outdoor cattle to run in over part of the winter so they spread more manure around and reduce bedding needs? Yep, making water available can be a challenge. What else might work?

USDA Market Reports
Click on "Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News"
Click on "Hay" in the middle of the page...and then select market sites that look useful to you.

Most of these are NOT quality tested on-site. Sellers might bring a test or sales staff might estimate quality.

The East River South Dakota market is a survey conducted by the Ag Statistics Service of buyers and sellers in Eastern South Dakota.

Upper Midwest Hay Market Report by Ken Barnett, UWEX


Follow Common Sense precaution in making on-line contacts and transactions. People also use Craig's list and similar website market tools to buy and sell hay and bedding.


Agricultural newspapers and local shoppers and community newspapers continue to be good tools for advertising "hay for sale" or "hay wanted"; and for bedding materials. People who need to purchase hay or other livestock feeds should be shopping early and working closely with nutrition advisors to make the best of resources with different groups of livestock.


-Midwest Dairy Expo - December 3-4, St. Cloud, Rivers Edge Center

-Land Rent Workshops - Many sites across Central and Southern Minnesota including in Central MN Chaska, Jordan, Gibbon, Litchfield, Buffalo, Gaylord, Hutchinson, Alexandria, Willmar, Cold Spring, Foley, Long Prairie, Little Falls.

-Midwest Forage Symposium - January 21-22, Wisconsin Dells

-Local Forage Meetings with MFA

-MN Conservation Tillage Conference, Feb 18-19, St. Cloud Holiday Inn
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