Hay Supplies Ample In East Texas | Hay & Forage Grower

Hay Supplies Ample In East Texas

Rains boost production, bring early armyworms
Jul 15, 2014

An abundance of rain across East Texas helped producers make plenty of hay so far this season.

March and April were cooler than normal, while May and June brought significant moisture in his area, says Ross Kinney, a hay grower from Kilgore, about 120 miles east of Dallas.

“I have not irrigated at all this year. I haven’t turned my system on. Usually by the middle of June we have to start irrigating because it’s so darn dry.

“As a result, we’ve had a lot of hay produced in this area,” he adds. “A lot of hay got wet because it rained more often than it was supposed to, but people did really well overall.”

Prices remain relatively steady, according to Kinney. Small square bales are selling for $7-$8 each out of the field. Round bales, depending on quality, run anywhere from $65 to $70 each.

“People have been able to produce three or four round bales per acre because of the rain we’ve had,” he notes. “Right now in our part of the country there is more than an ample supply of hay. Somewhere out in West Texas, it is probably much drier and hay production is not doing so good.”

One downside to all the rain is a “tremendous bout of (fall) armyworms[1],” he says. Outbreaks typically follow bouts of rain, and the pests feed primarily on bermudagrss, wheat, ryegrass.

“It happened about a month to six weeks earlier than normal. It was absolutely due to the early rainfall.”

In parts of West Texas, where moisture has been at a premium, grasshoppers have been the problem, Kinney says.

He raises 200 acres of bermudagrass and markets most in 60- to 65-lb small squares to horse owners within 120 miles of his farm.

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Alfalfa prices were $5-15/ton lower as many dairies backed off the market and changed feed rations, according to USDA’s July 11 market report. Prices for other classes of hay were steady to weak, and trade activity was light to moderate.

In the Panhandle and High Plains region, small square bales of premium- to supreme-quality alfalfa were $330-360/ton, or $10-11/bale. Large squares of premium- to supreme-quality alfalfa priced at $265-295/ton delivered. Large square bales of coastal bermudagrass sold for $202/ton delivered.

In the Far West and Trans Pecos region, small squares of premium-to-supreme alfalfa were at $280-360/ton, or $8.5-11/bale. Large squares bales of premium-to-supreme alfalfa sold for $245-280/ton.

In the north, central and eastern regions, small squares of premium-to-supreme alfalfa sold for $230/ton, or $7/bale. Good- to premium-quality coastal bermudagrass, in small squares, was $230-265/ton, or $7-8/bale. Large rounds of good-to-premium coastal bermuda priced at $120-150/ton.

In southern Texas, good- to premium-quality coastal bermudagrass sold for $230-265/ton, or $7-8/bale. Large rounds were $120-170/ton, or $60-$84/roll at good to premium quality. Fair- to good-quality bermudagrass hay was at $100/ton or $50/roll.

Contact Kinney at 903-522-0308 or ross@esawireless.com[3].