With fewer acres in production and most farms trying to rebuild their own inventories, a hay buyer will need to purchase supplies early to secure what he needs next year. In the past, many hay buyers have enjoyed the option of buying hay as they need it.

The current short crop situation will create new challenges for the buyer and possible opportunities for the seller who may be asked to store some hay for later delivery. The value of storage will need to be part of the purchase price or purchase agreement. Hay buyers may want to use resources like hay-buying websites or Craigslist.

In this type of situation, buyers need to be ready to pay for or at least make a reasonable deposit for the 2013 hay they will take delivery of at some point in the future. This may mean that buyers will need to secure a line of credit from their lenders to help cover the farms cash flow needs of purchasing hay and forage needs.