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The Midwest Cattleman · February 2, 2023 · P10
                                 U.S. HAY PRODUCTION DECLINED 9 PERCENT IN 2022
                                              By James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas

         Recently,      USDA-NASS        and will end in  April 2023.  ble-digit hay production de- 2% in 2022 to 34.63 million
                                         May 1 hay stocks were tight,  clines. Other hay production  acres. In the Southeast (AL,
      published the 2022 Crop Pro-       totaling 16.77 million tons  in Texas, the largest hay-pro- AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC,
      duction Summary. The report        or  7%  lower  year  over  year.  ducing state, totaled 6.15  SC, TN, VA, WV),  hay  acre-
      includes information about         May 1 stocks, combined with  million tons, a 40% decline  age ranged from a 10% in-
      U.S. hay production, acreage,      lower 2022 hay production,  compared to 2021. Produc- crease in West Virginia to a
      and yield. The report also in-     put hay supplies at the low- tion  declined  by 16%, 13%,  5% decline in Arkansas. Mis-
      cludes data for December 1         est level on record since the  and 10%  in  Arkansas, Mis- sissippi and Kentucky’s hay
      hay stocks. The report splits      data began in 1974. The pre- sissippi, and  Tennessee, re- acreage both declined by 5%.
      the data into two categories,      vious record low in hay sup- spectively. USDA’s estimate  Texas acreage declined by
      alfalfa and other hay. For         plies was in 2021.                 for Arkansas is much better  25%.  Declining  cattle  inven-
      producers in the southeast,           Other hay production to- than what I would have pre- tories, expensive inputs, and
      other hay is the relevant pro-     taled 64.84 million tons in  dicted last summer. Kentucky  high crop prices all likely
      duction.                           2022, down 9% from the  hay production declined 20%  contributed to the decline in
         The hay marketing year
      starts  in  May  and  ends  the    prior year and the largest  year over year. In Florida,  2022 hay acreage.
                                                                                                                 Expensive fertilizer and
                                         annual decline since 2011.  hay production increased by
      following April. For example,      Most Southern Plains and  7%.                                        poor precipitation impacted
      the 2022-2023 hay market-                                               Other hay acreage declined  yields. U.S. hay yields aver-
      ing year began in May 2022         Southeast states had dou-
                                                                                                              aged 1.87 tons per acre or 6%
                                                                                                              lower year over year. Yields
                                                                                                              dropped 9% in  Arkansas
                                                                                                              (2.00 tons per acre) and Mis-
                                                                                                              sissippi (2.00 tons per acre).
                                                                                                              Kentucky hay yields aver-
                                                                                                              aged 2.20 tons per acre, a
                                                                                                              15% decline compared to the
                                                                                                              previous year. Oklahoma and
                                                                                                              Texas yields averaged 1.25
                                                                                                              tons per acre and 1.50 tons
                                                                                                              per acre, respectively.

                                           RECORD LOW HAY STOCKS THIS WINTER
                                                         By Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University
         Two years of drought have  20.8 percent from the 2012- U.S. and the top-ten states
      severely depleted U.S. hay  2021 average December 1  of each hay category.  All hay
      stocks.  The recently released  stocks level (Table 1).    The  production in 2022 was down
      December 1 hay stocks from  largest hay stocks on Decem- 12.4 percent from the previ-
      USDA showed total stocks of  ber 1 were in Texas, 25.8 per- ous ten-year average, with
      71.9 million tons, 16.4 per- cent below the ten-year aver- alfalfa hay down 13.2 percent
      cent below the previous ten- age for the state.  Other top  and other hay down 11.9 per-
      year average and the lowest  ten states were down from  cent.  Hay production in 2022
      December 1 stocks on record  the ten-year average ranging  was the lowest on record in
      in  the  data  back  to  1973  from  Tennessee, down 10.9  data that began in 1974.
      (Table 1).                         percent, to Oklahoma, down           Total hay production in  plains, mid-south, and east-
         Each of the top ten states  32.7 percent (Table 1).                the top ten states combined  ern seaboard.   Kansas and
      for hay stocks was down com-          Table 1 also presents 2022  represents 43 percent of U.S.  Nebraska are the only two
      pared to the ten-year average  production of All Hay, Alfalfa  total hay production and was  states that feature in the top
      and collectively were down  Hay, and Other Hay for the  down 18.7 percent compared  ten lists for both alfalfa and
                                                                            to the ten-year average for  other hay production.
          Table 1. December 1 Hay Stocks, All Hay, Alfalfa Hay, and Other Hay Production,  those states.  The top ten hay   Decreased December 1 hay
                    Top Ten States and U.S., 2022 and 2012-2021 Average.
                                                                            production states include  stocks means that the cattle
                                                                            eight of the top ten beef cow  industry could face addition-
                                                                            states along with the number  al liquidation this winter and
                                                                            one dairy cow state, Califor- is particularly vulnerable to
                                                                            nia  and the number three  severe winter weather in the
                                                                            dairy cow state, Idaho.           next couple of months.   The
                                                                              The top ten state lists for  December storm already will
                                                                            alfalfa and other hay produc- have taken a chunk out of
                                                                            tion indicates that alfalfa hay  the reported December 1 hay
                                                                            tends to be more important in  stocks.   New forage produc-
                                                                            the northern half of the coun- tion is several months away
                                                                            try, along with California and  in the south and even farther
                                                                            Arizona, while other hay pro- away in northern regions.
                                                                            duction is more important
                                                                            in the central and southern
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