Local | Economy

Recession On The Farm: Oregon Hay Prices Drop

OPB | Feb. 2, 2009 8:59 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:12 a.m. | Bend, OR

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By Ethan Lindsey

Oregon hay prices are falling fast as the economy slows. And that's hurting hay growers – and exporters, who experienced record high prices for the crop last year.

Central Oregon correspondent Ethan Lindsey reports.


Farmers in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest sell most of their hay to dairy farmers across the country – and the world.

But a number of factors mean dairy farmers are buying less hay this winter.

And yet, the same growers who complain about today’s low hay prices — were seeing record tallies last year.

Mylen Bohle works for the Oregon State University extension office in central Oregon.

Mylen Bohle: “I’ll tell you what. My favorite term for last year, and it looks like it’s gonna be for this year too, is ‘unprecedented.’ In terms of what’s happening in Ag. And just the world, in general.”

Oregon hay producers generally work with a middle-man who buys their crop, and then sells and ships it to other markets.

Those exporters are sitting on tons of hay they bought at last year’s record high prices – and don’t want to sell at today’s lows.

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