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Minnesota hay supplies hit record low in 2021

The supply dropped sharply in Minnesota and in four other states, according to the USDA.

Hay buyers bid on hay at the Mid-American Auction Co. hay auction in 2016 in Sauk Centre. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

Repercussions of the 2021 drought are being felt in the amount of hay available on Minnesota farms.

The amount of hay stored on Minnesota farms fell 35% over the past year to record low levels, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service–Crop Production report

The report measures the hay supplies in Dec. 1, 2020 and Dec. 1, 2021. The hay stored on in 2021 was estimated at 1.46 million tons.

Farmers struggled to grow hay in 2021 as drought gripped Minnesota as well as many parts of the western U.S.

Nationwide, hay stored on United States farms fell 6% from 2020 to 2021, which the agency said is the third lowest since 1977.


Record low hay stock levels were also estimated in North Dakota, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

The report said that farmers grew 2.33 million tons of hay in 2021, down 34 percent from the 3.55 million tons they produced in 2020.

They grew hay on fewer acres, and each acre produced less than the year before.

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