Kirkwood Hay Auction in PA. - Advice and Wisdom please!
Hey All. I am heading to the hay auction at kirkwood tomorrow for my first time and didn't know if anyone had any pointers or advice. More importantly, could you message me with any dealers and sellers to avoid?
It went well and was very easy. If you have room for a larger load (i.e. 3 tons vs one ton) it was cheaper per ton. Some small loads were quite pricey for mediocre hay. I landed a wonderful load of orchard/light alfalfa mix and a great price. I imagine next week will be less in general because several of the farmers were talking about cutting hay next week. if you can go, go! Well worth it if you can store a good bit of your own hay.
Kirkwood auction is about 8 miles west off, US 1 on PA 427 just over the MD/PA line in Kirkwood, PA. They auction other things besides hay and straw. Flowers, veggies, etc.
Have been going there for a number years. I have bought a few moderate loads but by in large have always been satisfied. The producers that bring their loads rarely misrepresent the quality or lack of. If they don’t think it is fit for horses they will say so. But there are loads that are trucked in by “hired haulers” that don’t know much about the product. Alfalfa tends to be on the expensive side due to all of the Amish dairy farms in the area. They do not have the labor overhead, in other words, no payroll so they can pay more.
As with most hay/straw auctions most of the loads are around 4-5-tons at least. Small loads tend to be a bit more expensive because there can be more small outfits bidding on them. Sellers will usually haul 10 miles for free and add a dollar or 2 per mile after that.
Negotiate before bidding. They will help unload.
I would suspect a lot of hay was made last week around here. The most perfect haying conditions in years. Early growing season, low humidity and great sun. Hay sellers are pretty savvy though and know how to keep the prices where they want it. If they don’t need the money they will sit on it until the winter. We made 20 tons last week of beautiful orchard and we still have another 30 acres to go. All the Amish make for a very colorful atmosphere.
Anybody that complains about the price of a good bale of hay never made any. It is one if not the most tricky of crops to get right. Straw prices are ridiculous, it is a by product and it doesn’t really matter if it gets rained on. Go figure.
New Holland hay auction is bigger about an hour north of Kirkwood.
This link gives the links to state produce auctions around the country and weekly prices, but Kirkwood rarely reports. http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams....ketNewsPageHay