OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Pacific Northwest hay stocks are down 19 percent from 2012, according to the Washington Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
In the Northwest region -- Washington, Oregon and Idaho -- the quantity of hay stored on farms, sold or unsold, on May 1 totaled 980,000 tons, compared with 1.21 million tons in 2012 and 910,000 tons in 2011.
Washington reported 180,000 tons of hay stored on May 1, down 22 percent from 2012 and down 49 percent from 2011, NASS said.
Idaho had 570,000 tons on May 1 down 19 percent from 2012 but up 104 percent from 2011. Oregon was at 230,000 tons, down 17 percent from 2012 and 18 percent from 2011.
Nationally, all hay stored on farms totaled 14.2 million tons, down 34 percent from a year ago. This is the lowest May 1 stock level on record, NASS said. Last year's historic drought led to a substantial decrease in hay production and therefore beginning stocks for many states, NASS said.
In many areas, limited availability of native feedstuffs forced producers to feed their herds earlier than normal. Additionally, a cold wet spring has limited pasture growth causing prolonged dependence on supplemental roughage and feedstuffs in portions of the Midwest, NASS said.
-- Dan Wheat