Our farm produces organic hay and beef in Quebec, 20 kilometers
from the Vermont border. Can you help us determine a fair
price for high-protein content hay (35 percent to 50 percent
alfalfa)? Where would be a good place to advertise this?
Pricing hay fairly is always difficult since so much of the
price depends on quality. Quality can be determined in two
very distinct ways. The first way is rather subjective in
that a buyer will judge the hay based on color, texture and
smell. Everyone likes green hay that has fine leaves and a
good, fresh smell. The second way to determine hay quality
is more scientific and comes from a laboratory, where the
hay is analysed for feed value. If you have all this going
for you, that is: good color, fine texture and good feed analysis,
your product should bring a premium price.
In many cases, conventional hay may be worth more than organic
hay, if the quality is different. The organic hay market is
very strong in both the horse market and the dairy animal
market. Depending on the quantity you have, shipping quality
hay long distances can be worth doing. Many farmers will pay
top dollar to bring in quality. On the other hand, it can
be difficult to sell poor quality hay at any price or distance.
Most conventional hay markets have websites where they post
their recent sales in volume, price and quantity. I would
advertise with your local certifier for local sales, use neighboring
certifiers or farm publications for further advertising. Here
in Pennsylvania, we have a paper called Lancaster Farming,
which is a good place to advertise for sales in this region.
There may be be something like that in your region.
Good luck, and thanks for reading New Farm.