Washington State House Democrats


Hey! Banner year forecast for hay harvest

Hay isn’t just a city in New South Wales, Australia, you know.

“Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder,” explains Wikipedia. It’s especially important in the diet of “grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep.”

 The hay yield for farmers in our Evergreen State — particularly the harvest totals for alfalfa hay — should be first-rate this year, says no less an authority than the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Admittedly, when the books are closed on the year 2014, the hay-per-acre yield statewide will likely be down a smidge from last year’s mark. By 60,000 acres, however, the total hay-acreage planted statewide is up over last year’s figures — all the way up to 470,000 acres.

Washington’s apples, wheat and potatoes are bigger commodities than hay, in terms of status in the state’s economic standing. Still, when you’re tallying Washington’s top crops, hay comes in a very respectable fourth. Fact is, hay brought in $678.7 million in 2012, according to the USDA. And that is nothing to sneeze at.

For more information, check out the Washington State Hay Growers Association and the National Hay Association (motto “Not for Self, but for All”).