Tuesday, May 20, 2014

1st Cutting Has Begun in Nebraska

For the week ending May 18, precipitation across much of the western half the state improved topsoil moisture supplies, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. However, southwest Nebraska again received only limited amounts of rainfall and remained in severe to extreme drought. Statewide, temperatures averaged 9 to 12 degrees below normal. Freezing temperatures were reported on multiple nights. Producers were assessing the impact on crops and evaluating if replanting was necessary. Producers affected by the previous week’s storms continued clearing debris and working on damaged irrigation equipment. 

Alfalfa hay condition in Nebraska rated 8 percent very poor to poor, 39 fair, 53 good to excellent. Alfalfa hay first cutting was 1 percent complete, equal to last year, but behind the average of 14. Pasture and range condition rated 27 percent very poor to poor, 40 fair, 33 good to excellent.

According to the USDA’s Hay Report for Kansas, demand is good for dairy, grinding and stock cow
alfalfa, light to moderate for grass hay. This past week brought a mixture of weather, hot to cold and stormy in some places with wind, hail and a few tornadoes. The drought continues across most of Kansas. Swathers are starting on the new crop alfalfa, so far quality is excellent, but yields are light. A lot of the dryland acres may not get tall enough to swath. The grinding alfalfa market finally got fired up in Southwest Kansas. Kansas is reporting grinding and stock cow hay at $180 to 220 per ton and dairy hay prices at $240 to 280 per ton.

There has been some new interest and loads being sold on old crop inventories posted on nebraska-alfalfa.com. Prices on the old crop ranged from $230 to 260 per ton for alfalfa testing 155 Relative Feed Value or more.