As we move into summer, beef producers may have the opportunity to buy or sell some standing forages to be harvested as silage or hay.

Determining a fair price can be a challenge.  Ideally buying and selling by weight is the most fair way, however this may include weighing all the feed taken off the field(s), or weighing part of the feed, either bales or wagon loads, and counting the number of bales or wagon loads harvested to come up with a total forage weight harvested.  Selling and buying by weight may not always be an easy option depending on the situation.

Another common method used is buying and selling standing forage by the acre, where the buyer takes care of harvesting the feed as silage or hay.  This method has its own challenges, which include but are not limited to; coming up with a reasonable estimate for yield, calculating harvest costs, making adjustments for nutrient removal, quality parameters, and the list can go on.

Source: University of South Dakota Extension