China: U.S. Alfalfa Hay Exports to China Climb
U.S. alfalfa exports to China continue to climb, reaching 1.29 million metric tons (worth $417 million) in 2016. China is by far the largest foreign market for U.S. alfalfa hay, accounting for nearly half of the total U.S. exports in 2016. This growth is driven by the changing production practices in China’s dairy industry, with an increasing number of dairy cows raised by large and modern dairy farms, which prefer using imported hay and commercial feeds. Because of this rising demand, the Chinese government is trying to encourage greater domestic production of alfalfa.