seal  Purdue News

December 2, 2003

High-quality hay still in short supply near Great Lakes

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Only modest changes were made to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's alfalfa and hay production estimates in the October Crop Report, said David Petritz, a Purdue University agricultural economics professor and director of the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service.

That means dairy producers and horse owners who depend on locally produced supplies of high-quality hay will continue to face tight supplies in the Great Lakes states, Petritz said.

"Continued dry conditions in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin hindered forage growth and development," he said. "As a result, alfalfa hay production in both Michigan and Wisconsin was reduced by 5 percent compared to the August Crop Report. No changes were made in the hay estimates for Indiana."

Compared to one year ago, alfalfa production was estimated at nearly 24 percent smaller in Michigan and 20 percent smaller in Wisconsin.

There is some good news, however, Petritz said.

Drier weather conditions in September allowed more harvest opportunities. As a result, estimated alfalfa production was raised by 10 percent in Kentucky and 3 percent in Ohio. Illinois and Pennsylvania estimates also were increased compared to the August report.

Nationally, production of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures was forecast at 78.5 million tons, up less than 1 percent from the August forecast and 6 percent more than 2002. Production of all hay was up slightly to 161 million tons, 6.5 percent more than a year ago.

The full October Crop Production Report is available online.

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Source: David Petritz, (765) 494- 8489,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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