As we continue our look at Northwest Farm Credit Services’ quarterly check on area commodities, we turn our attention to hay and wheat. Karen Witt, Vice President at NWFCS, said the rough winter in Montana, which led to snow covering the ground later in the year than normal, prevented cattle from grazing, leading a lot of ranchers to deplete their hay stocks.
“Exports are also contributing to strong alfalfa sales, but low profitability in the dairy industry is creating headwinds.”
Northwest hay inventory is down 19% from last year while nationally, hay inventory is down 36%, which suggests higher prices and improved producer profitability year over year. Meanwhile, Witt says wheat growers may see slightly profitable returns.
“As global supplies continue to grow, U.S. wheat production is projected 25% lower, which may provide price support into the 2018-19 crop year. USDA’s pre-tariff projections suggest the 2017-18 season-average farm price for all-wheat will be between $4.60 to $4.70 per bushel.”
As with other commodities, Witt says trade issues and tariffs may create international problems for Northwest wheat growers. Join us Tuesday as we take a look at pears and wine.
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