March 21, 2023

Hay manufacturing drops to its lowest degree in 11 years

Fertilizer costs and drought final 12 months decimated hay manufacturing in america. The nation had its greatest decline in 11 years with shares at their lowest degree since information assortment started, based on the Nationwide Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

The Pure State didn’t fare a lot better.

Arkansas farmers harvested 1.09 million hay acres final 12 months, an 8% decline when in comparison with the earlier 12 months. These acres yielded two tons per acre, a ten% yearly drop in yield. About 2.19 million tons of hay was produced, a 16% drop.

Regardless of the decline, James Mitchell, extension economist for the College of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, mentioned he anticipated it to be worse.

“USDA’s estimate for Arkansas is a lot better than what I’d have predicted final summer time. I used to be anticipating a decline nearer to 25%,” he mentioned. ”It was onerous to foretell whether or not we’d get late-season rain final summer time. It was even onerous to foretell whether or not a late-season rain would assist us make up for the extreme manufacturing losses we had in July. Circumstances improved sufficient in September for us to make up for a few of that loss.”

The statistics have been compiled within the newest Crop Manufacturing Abstract from NASS, which is a part of the U.S. Division of Agriculture. Based on the abstract, Could 1 hay shares totaled 16.77 million tons, or 7% decrease 12 months over 12 months.

“Could 1 shares, mixed with decrease 2022 hay manufacturing, put hay provides on the lowest degree on report because the information started in 1974,” Mitchell mentioned.

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Nationwide, different hay manufacturing totaled 64.84 million tons in 2022, down 9% from the prior 12 months. Texas, the nation’s largest hay-producing state, produced 6.15 million tons, a 40% decline in comparison with 2021.

“Most Southern Plains and Southeast states had double-digit hay manufacturing declines,” Mitchell mentioned.

Mississippi had a 16% decline, Tennessee had a 13% decline, and Kentucky had a 20% decline. Florida was one of many few brilliant spots with a 7% enhance in hay manufacturing.

Fertilizer value hikes final 12 months led many farmers to make use of much less which impacted yields.

“Costly fertilizer and poor precipitation impacted yields,” he mentioned. “U.S. hay yields averaged 1.87 tons per acre or 6% decrease 12 months over 12 months. Declining cattle inventories, costly inputs, and excessive crop costs all seemingly contributed to the decline in 2022 hay acreage.”

The lingering impacts in 2023 will seemingly be greater hay costs for farmers.

“Like different commodities, value comparisons are primarily based on the advertising 12 months. For the Could 2021-April 2022 advertising 12 months, costs averaged $147 per ton,” Mitchell mentioned. “For the Could 2022-April 2023 advertising 12 months, we forecast costs to common $170 per ton.”

Farmers might take the brunt of upper enter prices, however shoppers pays extra as properly.

“Cattle costs are greater and can proceed to pattern greater in 2023,” mentioned Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State College livestock economist. “In some unspecified time in the future, when drought circumstances abate, elevated heifer retention and lowered cow culling may trigger cattle costs to spike sharply greater. The timing is unsure with ongoing drought and could be extra seemingly in 2024.”

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