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Expand Hay Markets for Profit

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Written Friday, October 23, 1998  

Above-average hay inventories in most parts of Ohio have left hay producers who depend exclusively on local markets with barns full of hay and looking for a new marketing plan, says Mark Sulc, Ohio State Extension forage agronomist.

"There is a demand for high quality hay in some areas," says Sulc. "Producers will probably have to look beyond their local markets in order to move hay this year."

The extreme southeastern region of Ohio needs good quality hay and has a demand for dairy quality hay now, Sulc says.

Because of the dry conditions in late summer and fall over much of southern and eastern Ohio, hay feeding will likely start earlier this year.

Ed Vollborn, OSU Extension South District Grazing Program Leader, expects the current hay surplus to end by spring, leading to an increased need for medium quality hay later this winter in southern and eastern Ohio.

Hay producers can use the Internet to identify potential markets outside their local areas. Several websites have been set up to help hay buyers and sellers, including:

  • Internet Hay Exchange at: www.hayexchange.com

  • Purdue hay locator service at: www.ces.purdue.edu/lcgi-bin/hay/welcome, and

  • Morgan's Forage Site at: www.forage.com, which provides information on the U.S. hay supply, demand and prices.
  • For Ohio and Indiana producers and buyers who do not have Internet access, the OSU Extension Agricultural Business Enhancement Center can help. Contact the center at (419) 354-6416 or 1-800-358-4678 for help.

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will serve as a national clearinghouse for producers with shortages or surpluses of hay.

    To register with the FSA Hay Net, contact a local FSA Service Center office.

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