There are some export concerns from alfalfa growers as the Chinese tariffs continue to remain high. Prior to the increased tariffs being put in place, China’s demand for alfalfa hay had been on the upswing for the past few years.
“We ship well over five million metric tons of hay out of the west coast of the United States and in about a 10-year period we’ve gone from very negligible exports of alfalfa to China to a million metric tons of alfalfa hay per year,” said Statewide Alfalfa and Forage Extension Specialist Dan Putnam. “So that’s a pretty major market.”
Earlier in the year projections were calling for continued growth in alfalfa exports to China, but the increased tariffs may have a significant impact on overall western exports. “We’ve estimated that well over 15 percent of our western hay production of alfalfa goes to export at this point in time,” Putnam noted.