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Hay prices hamper Midwest milk-feed price ratios

While they saw slight improvements from March 2013, Midwest dairy producers saw lower milk-feed price ratios compared to their national counterparts in April 2013. The  index – representing pounds of 16% commercially mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 lb. of whole milk – is based on current prices for a ration of 51% corn/8% soybeans/41% alfalfa hay.
The culprit: Midwest alfalfa hay prices were well above the national average. Average hay prices in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin all topped $250/ton in April, compared to the U.S. average of $215/ton.