Content of the study:
The Hay Market - France

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1.1 Hay market definition

Hay is, according to laroussea dried forage, most often composed of alfalfa or timothy, intended for feeding herbivores. Drying mown grasses enables them to be kept longer, and therefore plays a role in feeding domestic herbivorous animals when grass is scarce in grazing areas (winter, drought, etc.). Its nutritional characteristics distinguish it for example, from straw, the nutrient-poor stalks of grasses separated from the grain during threshing. Its low moisture content (around 15% to 20%) also distinguishes it from ensiled grass, preserved by fermentation with a grass moisture content (around 35 to 45%).

The hay market is therefore a sub-segment of the forage market. According to the Ministry of Agriculture's Statistics and Forecasting Department (AGRESTE), includes production from artificial grassland (sown with fodder legumes and cultivated for a maximum of 3 years), temporary grassland (sown with fodder grasses for less thansown for less than 6 years) and permanent grassland (sown or of natural origin, producing at least 1,500 forage units per hectare for more than 6 years). Temporary and permanent grasslands are intended to be mown, ensiled or grazed.

In France in 2020, the market will be worth 8.04 billion euros.

The hay market is also a sub-segment of the animal nutrition market, 52% of which comes from cereals (source: Businesscoot). It concerns farmed herbivorous animals (requiring human intervention for year-round feeding): ruminants (sheep, cattle, goats and buffalo) and non-ruminants (horses, donkeys, mules).

Other trends in the use of hay are emerging: human cooking, mulching...

1.2 The global hay market

We have no data on the global hay market. It is therefore appropriate to look at the global alfalfa hay market to get an idea of the scale of the hay market.

After a downturn caused by the pandemic in ****, with a *.*% contraction in the sector's sales, the market will return ...

1.3 A shrinking national market in the face of changes in agricultural activity

AGRESTE data for **** show a production of all types of forage and silage of ***,***,*** quintals (***):

Source: ****

The average value of a ton of hay is *** euros in **** (***).

We would need to estimate the rate of self-consumption of hay by producers , since it is primarily used to feed livestock outside the grazing ...

1.4 Hay market trade balance

To understand international trade in hay, UN Comtrade data should be analyzed using the following code:

******** - Hay, alfalfa, clover, sainfoin, forage kale, lupin, vetches and similar forage products (***)

French trade balance for the hay market France, ****-****, in millions of US$ and as a % of sales Source: ****

France is ...


2.1 An almost unique demand: the livestock sector

The vast majority of hay is sold to herbivore breeders as animal feed. The hay market is therefore highly dependent on the level of livestock farming in France and the composition of the herd.

Hay is chosen for its nutritional properties and quality.

Horse breeding

Growth in the number of horses France, ...

2.2 Strong cyclical impacts on hay and related markets

Decline in meat consumption

Total meat consumption in France over the last decade has fallen very slightly, with average annual per capita meat consumption (***) down by just *.*% between **** and ****. However, this slight decline has been a structural trend for * decades, with a *.*% drop in **** compared to ****, and a *.*% drop between **** and ...

2.3 Other possible uses for hay.

Hay in the diet of rabbits and pet rodents

A must-have food for rabbits and rodents, hay is tasty, rich in fiber and provides optimum wear for their teeth.

Hay can also be used as mulch, particularly in permaculture

Mulching is a technique that consists in covering the soil around plants ...


3.1 The main stages in making hay

To produce hay, the grass has to go through, according to equipedia.ifce.frseveral important stages :

mowing the grass to a height of * to * cm ; tedding, which consists in turning the grass over so that it dries evenly; windrowing, to finish drying the hay and gather it together; baling, once the ...

3.2 Market players and French production

Producers: they use merchants to handle the sale and distribution of their hay. However, they may wish to sell their production themselves (***), and use brokers or transporters directly to sell the product.

Merchants : they act as a link between producers and wholesalers, or directly with end customers (***).

Carriers : they are in ...

3.3 Adapting the hay market to short-distance distribution trends

La Coordination Agrobiologique (***) has published a guide dedicated to the exchange of fodder in short circuits in order to reinforce the autonomy of organic farms. Indeed, the reduced use of chemical inputs opens the door to greater vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and disease.establishing a local fodder market provides ...


4.1 Plural hays

Hay is a forage made from grass that has been mowed and then dried in the open air and sun for several days, to reduce its moisture content from **% to less than **% as quickly as possible, with a view to dry preservation. This forage is thus characterized by a high dry ...

4.2 Different prices for different types of hay

The Round Ball provides information on the characteristics that influence the price of hay:

It depends on the type of hay: the price of natural meadow hay(***). It depends on packaging: hay packaged in small rectangular bales is much more expensive than hay packaged in large round bales, due to the ...

4.3 Organic hay, a new supply trend

Demand for organic hay

The market for organically grown hay does exist in France. given the growing consumer demand for organic products, it's safe to assume that the market is booming. Many dairy farmers are going organic, which increases demand for organic hay, and the rest of the demand comes from ...


5.1 Major European legislation

The Common Agricultural Policy plays a major role in the agricultural organization of European countries, including France. Created in **** as part of the Treaty of Rome, it set out the operating rules for market organizations as early as ****. The Common Market Organizations, discussed in the first part of this study, were ...

5.2 Hay milk, a way of upgrading hay into cattle feed

The STG (***) label certifies a GMO-free diet, composed of **% grass and hay. This label, according to agriculture.gouv.frhas been available in France since March ****. The total absence of fermented products in livestock feed ensures high quality milk or cheese, for example. In this way, the label promotes the use of ...


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Reviews (5)

Reviews (5)

The chocolate and chocolate factory market - France

Publicado en 23/06/2022 by Helie Krotoff


The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

Publicado en 31/01/2022 by Thibaut Reinhard - Biocanna Technologies SRL

We got the numbers we needed. Excellent study

Businesscoot Response:

Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the study lived up to your expectations. We hope you will give us a 5/5 next time ;)

The Farm Animal Feed Market - France

Publicado en 09/01/2022 by Hugo Schott - Businesscoot

Note the recent but steady take-off of organic feed for farm animals, which is leading to a renewal of research and development in the sector

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Hugo, Thank you for your feedback. We are glad that the study was up to your expectations. We hope you will give us a 5/5 next time ;)

The market for sports nutrition supplements - France

Publicado en 06/01/2022 by Amaury Wernert

The work of collection, data processing and the method to estimate the market still poorly known are very relevant. Interview with the market specialist on the impact of the Covid crisis very interesting

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Amaury, Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to read that the content and structure of the study have fully met your expectations. :)

The ready meal market - France

Publicado en 26/11/2020 by Lucie Piette - Cooperl

Good synthesis of the market with interesting figures

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Lucie, Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to read that you were completely satisfied with the content of the study. :)

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