2018 has been a rather unique year from a weather perspective. It seemed that the departure of winter was rather delayed, and then it seemed that we missed spring and jumped right into summer. With favourable seeding weather, producers were able to make good progress with getting the seed in the ground and early plantings got off to a good start. Much of our area has been short on moisture with rains being very sporadic, as streamers would only cover small areas. As a result, first cut hay was slightly below normal yield, but excellent quality hay has been harvested. Due to the hot dry weather, producers experienced some of the best harvesting conditions in many years. On the down side, the drought conditions have hampered the second growth, and pastures are now suffering from lack of moisture. Needless to say, we are getting numerous inquiries looking for hay from both domestic and international locations. Hay prices are difficult to predict at this point, but Forage publications from the US have indicated that many States are quoting a range of hay prices of up to a 71% increase over 2017 at this time.  


Producers are encouraged to access the Ontario Hay Listings web site to sell or buy hay or straw. This is a free service that is managed by the Ontario Forage Council. The address is www.ontariohaylistings.ca and is a self-serve site. 


 The Ontario Hay Marketing Forum (OHMF) is an excellent group from which to consider when buying or selling hay or straw. Their names, location and contact information is easily located on the Ontario Forage Council site under the Ontario Hay Marketing Forum tab at www.ontarioforagecouncil.com


If you are in the hay marketing business, or considering getting into it, the OHMF is good way to have good exposure and constantly market good quality hay, and at the same time, keep abreast of hay export market opportunities. OHMF members are also eligible to join the CFGA Export Group, to further expand your reach.


The OHMF will be represented at the World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin in October 2018, and always attracts a lot of attention from US and overseas attendees. Some of our members will also be attending the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) Annual Meeting and Conference in Calgary, Alberta on November 13 – 16, 2018. A significant part of the conference and the tour will focus on hay quality and exporting opportunities. It has always been a real highlight of the conference. Stay tuned for complete details as the conference planning progresses. www.canadianfga.ca


For a membership form, or more information, please feel free to contact Ray Robertson at 1-877-892-8663 or ray@ontarioforagecouncil.com