Weekly dairy cow slaughter under federal inspection

Week ending July 26: 52,600 head

Year-to-date (YTD) 2014: 1,607,7000 head

YTD compared to same period 2013: -184,700 head

Highlights: For the week, 32% came from USDA Zone 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH & WI); 24% came from USDA Zone 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV).

Source: USDA Weekly Cow Slaughter Report


Turlock Livestock Auction Yard

Dairy replacement sales results from “Big Event Dairy Sale,” Turlock, Calif., on Aug. 6, featuring consignments from McFarlane Farms and Robert & Candace Mendes herds.  Prices $/head unless otherwise noted:

#1 milk cows: 2500-3600

#2 milk cows: 1800-2400

#1 dry cows: 2400-3500

#2 dry cows: 1700-2300


Weigh dairy cows

Top yielding: 100-119/cwt.

Medium yielding: 82-94/cwt.

Low yielding: 55-81/cwt.


New Holland Sales Stables

Dairy replacement sales results from New Holland, Pa. on Aug. 6. Compared to last week, dairy cows sold mostly steady. Part of cattle offered were from a consigned herd made up of certified organic cows. Demand was moderate. Bred heifers sold mostly steady on a light test. Demand was moderate. Trade was active. Wednesday's supply included 162 fresh milking cows, 11 springing cows, 17 short-bred cows, 57 springing heifers, 52 short bred heifers, 20 open heifers, and 12 bulls. One hundred percent of

reported supply Holsteins unless otherwise noted. All sales sold on a per head basis.


Fresh cows

Supreme: 2300-3200; certified organic 2000-2675

Approved: 1700-2250; certified organic 1500-1950

Medium: 1300-1600; certified organic 1000-1400


Springing cows (7-9 months)

Supreme: 1950-2100 few

Medium: 1250-1500 few


Bred Cows: (4-6 months)

Supreme: 1800-2000 few

Approved: 1600-1700 few


Short Bred Cows: (1-3 months)

Supreme: 1800-2100 few

Approved: 1400-1700


Springing heifers (7-9 months)

Supreme: 2000-2400 

Approved: 1700-1975

Medium: 1350-1650

Common: 900-1250


Bred heifers (4-6 months)      

Approved: 1700-1875

Medium: 1550-1650

Common: 1300-1475


Short bred heifers (1-3 months)

Approved: 1400-1650

Medium: 1000-1375

Common: 800-975


Open Heifers


600-900 lbs 910-950

900-1200 lbs 1175-1385



600-900 lbs 675-700

900-1200 lbs 1010-1100


June U.S. hay exports weaker

U.S. alfalfa hay exports totaled 34,775 metric tons in June, the lowest total since February, according to USDA’s Foreign Ag Service. China was the top foreign hay market for the month, at 52,794 metric tons (MT); followed by Japan, at 37,369 MT; and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at 17,879 MT.

June 2014 U.S. exports of other hay, at 118,130 MT, was the lowest monthly total since December 2008. Japan was the leading market for the month, at 68,627 MT; followed by South Korea, at 26,956 MT; and UAE, at 7,066 MT.



Weekly Upper Midwest hay market report

Compiled by Ken Barnett, UW-Extension

Price summaries for period ending Aug. 1. All hay prices quoted are dollars per ton FOB point of origin for alfalfa hay unless otherwise noted. The information presented in this report is compiled from public and private sales and reports in the Midwest.


Demand and sales activity

Compared to the previous week, small square bale prices were down 3%. Large square bale prices were up 12%. Large round bale prices were steady. Sales activity was very light to light.

For Nebraska, hay prices were steady on limited alfalfa hay sales. The most sought after products right now is dairy quality hay in large square bales and ground and delivered cornstalks. Standing hay in the Platte Valley is at $70/ton. Most areas are starting to get a little dry and could use a good general rain.

For Iowa, hay prices were $31.25 higher on very limited alfalfa hay sales. There was very limited hay movement again this week. Warmer and dryer temperatures continued this week and enabled producers to put good or better hay in the barns.

In South Dakota, hay prices were steady to $4.75 higher. Demand was good for dairy quality hay, with less demand for lower quality. There was good demand for high quality grass hay to start calves on feed, with much less demand for lower quality grass. Straw being baled in central South Dakota was moving east this week. Dry conditions this week again, outside of a few areas that received a shot of rain last week, is really affecting alfalfa regrowth after the second cutting was made. Some growers are reporting that third cutting looks to be drastically reduced due to drought conditions. Condition of the corn crop looks very good across the trade area. Moisture has been short, but temperatures have been mild, even cool some days, during this critical time of pollination. As the corn price declines, buyers of hay also want to cheapen their forage cost as well.

For Missouri, alfalfa hay prices were steady on very limited alfalfa hay sales. Hay supply is moderate and demand is light. Cooler temperatures returned to the state and July is officially going to go into the record books as one of the top ten coolest on record. Despite the unseasonably cool month, many producers are expressing that lack of moisture is quickly becoming a serious concern. The university also warned producers to be on the lookout for striped blister beetles as they have been showing up in high numbers in some alfalfa fields. Hay movement continues to be very limited.

In Southwest Minnesota, hay prices were $20.00 lower. The second cutting of alfalfa hay was 62% complete, 12 points ahead of last week. Reports of third cuttings of alfalfa were observed in southern Minnesota. All hay conditions increased to 66% good to excellent. Pasture conditions decreased to 73% good to excellent. Pasture conditions were rated 2% very poor, 5% poor, 20% fair, 57% good, and 16% excellent.

The demand for Illinois hay was light to moderate, with most of the demand coming from the dairy and horse interests. Market activity was slow, with moderate to heavy offerings. Some hay producers had finished their second cuttings of alfalfa, while others were finishing their third. Yields have been very good so far for many producers, but many areas will need rainfall to continue that trend. The demand for wheat straw was good to very good, with trading moderate to active and light to moderate supplies of straw. Pasture conditions were stable and rated at 1% very poor; 2% poor; 26% fair; 55% good; and 16% excellent.

For Wisconsin, hay prices were $10.95 lower at a quality-tested hay auction in Fennimore. Cool summer temperatures and scattered afternoon and evening showers prevailed during the final week of July. Needed rainfall across the state improved declining topsoil moisture reserves and eased stress on pollinating corn and pod-setting soybeans. Rain has been insufficient for much of Wisconsin in July. The second cutting was 81% complete. The third cutting was 8% complete. All hay condition was rated 85% good to excellent. Pasture conditions declined and were rated at 0% very poor; 3% poor; 19% fair; 62% good; and 16% excellent.

Straw prices in the Midwest averaged $3.23 per small square bale (range of $2.75 to $5.00); $48.23 per large square bale (range of $26.25 to $54.38); and $38.90 per large round bale (range of $9.00 to $58.75). Compared to the previous week, straw prices for small square bales were 19% lower. For large square bales, prices were 21% higher. For large round bales, prices were 39% higher.

Past hay reports