U.S. hay stocks lowest since 1950

All hay stored on farms May 1, 2007 totaled 15 million tons, down 30 percent from the previous year and the lowest since 1950.

Disappearance of hay from Dec. 1, 2006 - May 1, 2007, totaled 81.4 million tons, 3 percent less than the disappearance of 83.9 million tons for the same period a year earlier.

Thirty-eight of the 48 reporting states had lower May 1 hay stocks than a year ago. Hay stocks in most of these states were also below year ago levels on Dec. 1, 2006.

Drought conditions during most of 2006 caused deterioration of pastures throughout the Southeast, resulting in increased supplemental feeding of hay, reducing the Dec. 1 stocks.

The drought in that area persisted into the winter and spring which also increased the amount of hay fed.

Elsewhere, supplemental feeding increased in the central Plains and Midwest due to some harsh mid-winter storms and below normal temperatures in April.

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