A good year for irrigated hay in western Nebraska


A good year for irrigated hay in western Nebraska

A western Nebraska hay producer says it’s been a good year for producing and marketing alfalfa hay. 

Mike Manion produces high-quality, irrigated alfalfa hay in the Nebraska Panhandle near Hemingford. Manion says they’ve been very dry this summer, but he says that’s not all bad.

“It’s been hard to keep enough water on this year. The pivots can’t shut off until we’re ready to cut the hay,” Manion says. “But as far as getting the hay put up, quality-wise, it’s been a lot easier this year. We haven’t been getting the rains, so it’s a lot easier to put up nice hay.”

Manion feeds some of his hay to his own cattle and markets the rest to dairies along the front range of Colorado.

“The hay market is a lot better this year because it’s so dry, and it’s pretty widespread drought from Wyoming clear down into Colorado,” he says. “So hay’s going to be pretty good but at the same time corn prices are pretty low, so that’s going to suppress the hay prices, I feel like.”

AUDIO: Mike Manion