Compared to the 2001-2010 pre-drought average, total harvested-hay acreage for 2013 is projected to be down by 8.4 percent, a decrease of 5.2 million acres. The largest decreases by state include:
· South Dakota, down 785,000 acres or 20.2 percent;
· Wisconsin, down 599,000 acres or 30.3 percent;
· North Dakota, down 484,000 acres or 16.8 percent;
· Iowa, down 387,000 acres or 26 percent;
· Tennessee, down 307,000 acres or 16 percent; and
· Missouri, down 301,000 acres or 7.3 percent.
Rounding out the Top 11 list also includes the states of Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio, all with decreased harvested-hay acreage of 200,000 to 300,000 acres compared to the 2001-2010 average. Together, these 11 states account for 79 percent of the decrease in total U.S. harvested-hay acreage.
“Most of the changes in harvested-hay acreage are not the effect of drought so much as a reflection of longer term shifts in crop production,” Peel said. “Significant amounts of hay land are being converted to annual crop production in and around the nation’s Corn Belt, from North Dakota to Tennessee.” Oklahoma Cooperative Extension and Oklahoma State University offer their programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran and are Equal Opportunity Employers.