Market gurus say to make profits you must buy low and sell high. What market gives you that opportunity today? The stock market? No, it's the hay market!
High rainfall in many areas produced high yields of both grass and alfalfa hay this year. Add to that the high carryover from last year plus lots of crop residues available and you get an abundance of forage for this winter. And when winter forage is abundant, hay prices go down.
All this rain also led to some poor hay making weather which has resulted in a shortage of really high quality alfalfa. As a result, some alfalfa growers in Nebraska are receiving well over 150 dollars per ton for superior quality dairy hay.
But why should you care? You don't have any extra alfalfa. You plan to use all your hay for your own cattle.
Well, just think about this. Suppose someone offered you over 100 dollars per ton for your better alfalfa, like that last cutting this fall. Could you find other hay nearby that you could make work for your animals that would only cost you 60 or 70 dollars? If you can, maybe you can sell high, buy low, and pocket the profits.
So, how do you find these buyers? You could post notices at truck stops, place ads in newspapers and magazines, or set up a sign by your driveway. But, there are more effective ways to contact buyers. One is to place your hay on a computer listing in the dairy states. Maybe an even better way is to work with hay dealers or become a member of a marketing group, like the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association, to take advantage of all their market connections.
You may need some luck and do some work to be able to buy low and sell high. Smart operators look for these opportunities.