Overview of Alfalfa Production and Market Trends in La Paz County

by Tim C. Knowles

Institution: University of Arizona
Year: 1999
Keywords: Agriculture  – Arizona; Grain  – Arizona; Forage plants  – Arizona; Alfalfa  – Arizona; Alfalfa  – Production; Alfalfa  – Market
Record ID: 1698935
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10150/205149


Alfalfa producers in the Colorado River region of La Paz County have experienced some shifting trends in markets and production over the last 15 years. Acreage has increased steadily from a low of 25,000 acres in the early 1980's to a high of nearly 50,000 acres in 1999. Average annual alfalfa hay yields in La Paz County have maintained a fairly flat trend ranging from 7.5 to 8.5 tons per acre during this time. Low annual hay yields often resulted from extended cutting schedules and minimal inputs in years of below average hay prices. Alfalfa hay prices were severely depressed during the summer of 1986, from summer of 1991 through winter of 1992, during the summer of 1995, and from winter through summer of 1999. In contrast, La Paz County alfalfa hay producers experienced the strongest markets during the winters of 1989, 1990, 1994, 1997, and 1998. Annual hay tonnage per acre was also high during these years and acreage increases were observed the following spring planting.