It’s that time of the year when fresh mowed hay fills the air across Wisconsin, which also means many farmers and rural neighbors will be negotiating the sale of standing hay. An estimated 2.5 million acres of dry hay and haylage are harvested each year in this state with baled hay alone accounting for $80-$100 million in market sales. Unfortunately, there is not an established commodity market for hay like there is for corn or soybeans. Finding reliable hay market information can be a challenge, and trying to value standing hay whiles it’s still in the field can be even more difficult.

To help farmers and landowners identify the price of hay, and/or negotiate the sale or purchase of standing hay, a UW-Extension educator just published a free Smartphone app that can quickly find hay price information. Users of this app can also enter projected hay yield, cutting schedule and harvest costs to calculate a standing value per acre. The app is free and available for Android smart phones and tablets on the Google Play store by searching for “Hay Pricing” or go to:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.smartmappsconsulting.haypricing

According to Greg Blonde, a UW-Extension Agriculture Agent involved with developing the app, “this new mobile tool will help farmers and rural landowners access the latest hay market information on the go, plus give them a simple tool to help estimate field value when considering buying or selling standing hay.” Blonde also noted the app is a very useful tool for Extension educators, feed and crop consultants, as well as lenders, rural appraisers and real estate professionals.