WASHINGTON AG NETWORK – GLENN VAAGEN – The 2018 hay season was good for most growers across the region. That according to Andrew Eddie Vice President of the Washington state Hay Growers Association. He said hay sold well domestically and internationally this year. He noted that growers saw a little hit from the trade war with China, but notes it was not as damaging as other commodities reported.
“I think there is a little bit of a deficit, but I think at the end of the day, it’s all going to work out. I think as long as they get resolved here by new crop, it won’t make too much of an effect on the bottom-line.”
Eddie noted increased demand in Japan and Saudi Arabia helped on the international front. And he noted that growers in the Mid-West have purchased a lot of Northwest hay, meaning very little of the old crop remains. However, while 2018 was a good year, he says the same can’t be said about next year. Eddie said he fears that local growers will need to tighten the belt considerably into 2019.
“The rumor is that fertilizer prices are going to increase, probably significantly. Most of the cost of production is going up right now, from what we hear from early market reports.”
They should have a better idea what those costs look like in the coming months before the 2019 season gets underway in earnest.