Poll Recap: 2014 Hay Costs

Of the 599 respondents, 212 people (35%) said that they will pay more than $250 per ton for hay this year.

Photo: Photos.com

How much do you expect/have you paid for hay per ton this year? We posed this question to our readers in last week’s online poll. Nearly 600 people responded to the online poll (599 to be exact!) and we’ve tallied the results.

Of the 599 respondents, 212 people (35%) said that they will pay more than $250 per ton for hay this year, while 100 individuals (17%) said they paid anywhere from $201-$250 per ton for hay. Another 96 individuals (16%) said they would pay $151-$200 for hay per ton, and 57 (10%) of poll respondents said they would pay between $101-$150 per ton. Only 36 respondents said that they paid or expected to pay less than $100 per ton for hay. Additionally, 89 people (15%) said that they grow their own hay for their horses, while nine individuals responded that they did not feed their horses hay.

More than 180 people commented on different aspects of their hay costs, including the type of hay, price, quality and delivery.

Poll Results


Many people commented on the price they paid per ton for hay:

  • “$425./ton grass mix from Eastern Washington in 1/2-ton giant bales. Not delivered, Langley, BC”
  • “Our hay is very expensive in the Pacific Northwest; we pay $350 on average for a ton of timxgrass”
  • $250 per ton alfalfa plus cost of fuel with our own semi, 200 miles round trip”           
  • “$130 ton p/u in field. Bmpr crop in Oregon this yr. Prices will rise dramatically due to California drought.”
  • “$75/ton, includes delivery of large round bales of nice green mixed grass.”
  • “$180-Timothy/Orchard Grass-Excellent--no delivery”
  • “We sell our good grass hay for $235/ton. California feed stores charge about $280/ton. No delivery.”
  • “I just paid $374/ton for 2nd cutting timothy!”
  • “Orchard grass,we hauled and stacked 15 tons. Best testing hay for my IR horse”
  • “$380/ton orchard grass”
  • “About $300 per ton without delivery”
  • “$400/ton delivered for alfalfa/orchard grass”
  • “Excellent Coastal Hay at $198-$210 per ton, picked up, not delivered.”
  • “$250. Hay, 32, delivery and stacking. Mix of grass hays.”
  • “Pay $400/ton in Florida for Canadian Orchard/Alfalfa. But zero waste, horses eat every last spring.”
  • “Grass/alfalfa mix with delivery--$350/ton”
  • “At an average cost of $15 for 100 lb bales the cost per ton would approximate $300 per ton”
  • “Hay in the Pacific NW has been at $345 per ton for several years. Both orchard grass and alfalfa”
  • “Good square bales are around $140 a ton, good clean round bales are still under $100 a ton.”
  • “$120 per ton, Bahiagrass hay, no delivery”
  • “Lots of hay going for over $200/ton in my area (SW Idaho); I have a good deal with grower”
  • “Southern California hay prices are routinely sky-high. We pay, on average, $500/ton.”
  • “Alfalfa at $280 ton, delivered in Colorado”
  • “$650 ton in Anchorage Alaska.”
  • “I'd kill to only have to pay $250 per ton.”
  • “I have paid $240 for fair quality to $320 for good quality hay.”
  • “Orchard grass at $400 and delivery is included.”
  • “5 tons of alfalfa/grass mix so far @ $ 305 delivered and stacked”
  • “$200 per ton delivered. 10 ton of excellent quality mixed grass hay, and 4 ton of pure alfalfa”
  • “Bermuda hay - 98lb. bales approx. $14.75 per bale and $300.00 per ton Tucson, Az”
  • “$225.00 for orchard grass. Delivery”
  • “$200-$225 for grass&grass/alfalfa.Just planted 10 acres grass/alfalfa”
  • “I pay 15 dollars a bale. 50 lb bales. So 20 bales per ton equals $300/ton O&A,or T&A.”
  • “Grass mix hay, more tan $250/ton. Light bales at about 50 lbs each, and priced at $6.50/bale.”
  • “It's orchard/Timothy/alfalfa blend delivered $525 per ton. Delivery is usually not included.”
  • “In Sweden, and selling analyzed for $373”
  • “$25/ton delivery charge and expecting $200+ a ton this year- timothy,orchard, bluegrass mix”
  • “$285 per ton, delivered and put in loft.”
  • “$160/ton, Coastal, okay quality for Texas, no delivery.”
  • “Orchard grass mix:farmer, fertilizer & irrigation water = about $250/ton”
  • “$300 per ton Alfalfa or Orchard Grass”
  • “We pay about $100.00 /ton for big round bales. We pay $150.00 for small squares, all native grass”
  • “$500-$600 ton of T&A”
  • “Pay about $5.75/bale (small square) so around $350/ton? Mixed grass first cut, delivered/stacked in loft”
  • “$125 approx per ton, we pick up from farm, round coastal for all 3 & square alfalfa for my senior.”
  • “We pay approximately $400/ton for coastal hay delivered in greater Houston area.”
  • “$385/ton 2nd cutting orchard/Timothy mix good quality”
  • “$155 per ton, not delivered, second cutting preferred”           
  • “$15 per 100# bale, $300 per ton of fresh cut Bermuda; I pick up and unload my own, live Phx area, AZ”

Several others commented on what they paid per bale for hay:

  • “I live in Wilton, California, and hay costs for alfalfa/grass is $18/ bale”
  • “I buy square bales of Bermuda or grass hay around 60lb bales at $5.50 per bale. I pick it up myself.”
  • “Currently paying $20+/- alfalfa, $15/bale- grass in California Not delivered.”
  • “Bales were 1000lbs. We paid $65/bale alaalfa/brome/Timothy bales and $50 for grass bales.”
  • “Timothy/brome, no weeds, 2nd cutting, very leafy. No delivery. $8 a 60# bale. Excellent quality.”
  • “High quality Timothy. Including shipping 60 lbs. @ $11.00 per bale. Trucked from Upstate NY to FL.”
  • “Big round bales (1500# - 1800#) all types from grass to alfalfa.”
  • “Just took a guess. I purchase organically grown hay at $5.00 a bale.”
  • “I buy by the bale so I’m really not sure.”
  • “$10 for poor quality 40 lb bale of coastal; not delivered.”
  • “Hay sold by the bale @ $10 for a 50 lb bale.”
  • “$5 for a 60 lb square bale of Coastal hay in the field.”
  • “$5 per bale in Ohio”
  • “$12 a bale delivered”
  • “I purchase by the bale @ $20 per bale for orchard grass or alfalfa and $17-$18 per bale for oat.”
  • “$4.50 orchard/fescue delivered per 40-50# bale”
  • “About $5-$6 for a 55-65lb square bale, mixture of grass and alfalfa, delivery not included”
  • “When grass hay got to $22.+tax per bale! We cut our own hay!”
  • “Alfalfa is anywhere from $8-12 a bale. grass is $7-10 a bale and mix is typically $10 a bale.”
  • “$6 a bale, usu 45-50#, grass/alfalfa mix no delivery”
  • “200 small bales at about $4/bale delivered by neighbor-average quality”
  • “$4.00 per small bale of mixed grass each bale averaging about 40 lbs”
  • “No idea by ton; it's $4/bale grass hay locally, $7/bale late winter for hay seller brings in; I put up”
  • “Currently $15.951/100# bale alfalfa or grain, delivery extra”
  • “All hay here is running at least $16-17 per 100lb bale. Grass, alfalfa, all of it.”
  • “$10 per 50lb bale. I pick it up. Good orchard grass. With this drought, I'm lucky to get it.”
  • “$17/bale for alfalfa right now and $11/bale for Teff”
  • “Purchase by 135# bale timothy or orchard mix $28/bale--alfalfa 125# $24/bale--limited storage area”
  • “$3.00/35-40 lb bale of orchard grass, delivery included (PA)”
  • “Orchard grass hay, $21.50 per bale, 18 bales to the ton (~110 lbs.), top quality, del. extra.”

A few commented that they grow their own hay:

  • “Grow my own good grass hay but pay to have mowed/tedded/baled. Family helps gather/stack. ~$80/ton”
  • “We bale our own hay so the only expense we have is twine And gas for the tractor.”
  • “Even though I grow my own the cost is there as I could sell it So $101 - $150 per ton”


Others left general comments about purchasing/feeding hay:

  • “I buy high quality 1st cut orchard grass round bales out of the field.”
  • “I feed perennial peanut hay prior to releasing them to pasture for the day.”
  • “Only feed hay in winter. Grass hay in round bales. Delivery only inculded if I buy at hay auction.”
  • “Cannot buy in bulk as I have no space for hay storage”
  • “The cost of good hay is ridiculous in Florida”
  • “I feed alternating forage and oat with a rice bran pellet supplement. Quality varies wildly”
  • “We had a very severe winter, and good hay went scarce, here in KY, due to this.”
  • “We have a VERY depenable supplier and this time of year rely on our good pasture greatly.”
  • “Haven't got my hay for this year yet. It has probably gone up in price.”
  • “Have you been to Long Island? Few hay growers here, all must be trucked in over bridges. $$$ Ouch!”
  • “I board my horse so not exactly sure. I think he might grow his own?”
  • “I feed Standlee compressed timothy bales. Consistent quality, easy to store, I can pick it up myself”
  • “Southern California Hay is ridiculously high priced.”
  • “Hard to get good quality hay in AZ”
  • “Way overpriced no matter what kind/quality”
  • “As everywhere, water shortage and labor and fuel costs have accelerated our regional hay prices.”
  • “We buy from local farmer direct from the fields”
  • “My friend bales it for me and does not charge for a full price per bale, hay is mixed grass”
  • “The price of hay is included in my monthly board bill, but our barn grows our own timothy hay.”

You can find more information about feeding and selecting hay for horses by visiting the “hay” topic page on TheHorse.com, including how hay is made, and how to sample hay for analysis.

This week we want to know: do you haul and stack your own hay? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.


About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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