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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hay harvesting services respond to market trends


In recent years, there has been a trend in California from harvesting hay in small hay bales of about 125 pounds to very large bales of 1,300 pounds or more. This shift is driven by both production considerations and the preferences of some consumers, but has significant implications for the hay market and its many consumer segments. We conducted a survey of rates and the rate-setting methods among custom alfalfa hay harvesters in the northern intermountain region and the San Joaquin Valley. The results show that large bales are cheaper to produce than small bales.

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