Hay Export Market
COVID-19 has impacted nearly all of our agricultural supply chains, including the hay market. A significant amount of hay in the western gets exported and logistics have been tricky.
Here’s Hay Farmer Andrew Eddie of RNH Farms in Moses Lake, WA.
Eddie… “Biggest problem right now, and that's been around for the last two months is ship availability and space for containers to export hay out. Once all of this started, all the ships that were coming in from China that were delivering stuff had to wait off shore for two weeks and then they finally were able to make it to port. But this caused a few backups and caused a little shortage on a container availability.”
Eddie says this also interrupts the time of year that foreign buyers usually visit to assess the quality of the new crop.
Eddie… “A lot of the buyers are not going to be making the trip up here, once new crop hits the ground. So they're trying to figure out new ways to say, Hey, here's what we got. Here's what it's like. Here's the grading specs on it. Let us know what you think.”
How all of these logistical challenges will affect hay prices long term remains to be seen. But in the short term, Eddie says buyers are rolling bookings because they can’t get the freight or containers.