The Woodward News

Local News

June 12, 2013

Hay situation a little better

Woodward, Okla. — LAVERNE – This time last year, cattlemen were edgy at best about whether or not they would have enough hay to purchase, no matter how high the price got.

In April of last year, trading was at a near standstill, according to the Oklahoma Hay Report and if you ask some local ranchers, like A.R. Plain of Laverne, things were pretty awful.

“You know, last year was a bad, bad, bad deal,” Plain said. “If you had cattle, whether you had one head or a thousand, you had too many.”

Anyone buying hay might have agreed.

A year ago, a round bale of good quality alfalfa was bringing on average $250-$290 per round bales. In some cases the price was up to $325, according to the Oklahoma Hay Report. And it only got worse as the summer heated up and fields dried up or were eaten down to the dirt.

This year, the same hay has come out of the clouds but is still hovering at up to $190 per ton for good to premium alfalfa, according to the latest Oklahoma Hay Report.  

Plain and others in the region are slightly more optimistic, although they know any real improvement is still years away.

“Well, at least we have had a little rain and things are trying to green up a little,” Plain said. “So we have a little better shot at having some hay this year over last year. "But honestly, it will take about three years before things get back to normal. There is still a lot of brown pasture out there.”

Local hay producer and custom baler, Brant Mcatee agrees with Plain.

“I think if you don’t have any hay and you need to buy it, I’d be buying it now,” Mcatee said. “I put up some wheat hay this year and it barely made one bale an acre and that is sub par.”

While conditions have improved somewhat, Mcatee agrees with Plain, it’s not time to celebrate.

“Even though there was the rain, most guys would normally be on their second cutting and because of the freeze, are just now getting in their first cutting,” Mcatee said. “If normally these guys get five cuttings, this year, they will probably get only four.”

While alfalfa hay has dropped in price, good quality round bales of grass are holding the price line.

This year a good round bale of grass is fetching $90-$105 per ton. In April last year, the price averaged $80 to $90 per ton, but increased sharply through the year as supplies diminished, according to the hay report.

“This year, since they finally got the moisture to put it in, some guys are buying some of the feed grass seed, like hay grazer and sorghum and things like that,” Mcatee said. “They should be able to have enough moisture to get a cutting or maybe even two this year.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014

  • Red Cross seeking additional volunteers

    The Red Cross is currently looking for volunteers in Woodward and the surrounding areas.

    July 20, 2014

  • Changes in military surplus program still causing some problems

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years.

    July 20, 2014

  • Love for Dr. Waddell easy to see

    Doctor Donald Waddell is known by many names by many people.

    July 20, 2014 1 Video

  • AAA offers some tips on fuel mileage

    With gas prices still high, drivers need every bit of help they can get on saving money and saving the gas itself.

    July 18, 2014