Why Teff Hay is So Expensive: Understanding the Premium Price Tag

Teff hay has earned a reputation as a high-quality forage, but with that quality comes a higher price tag. If you're wondering why teff hay is more expensive than other types of hay, here are the key factors contributing to its cost:

1. Specialized Growing Conditions

Teff hay requires specific conditions to thrive. It prefers well-drained soils and warm temperatures, typically needing soil temperatures above 65°F (18°C) for optimal growth. Preparing the perfect seedbed and maintaining these conditions can be labor-intensive and costly, contributing to the higher price.

2. Limited Supply

Unlike more commonly grown forages like alfalfa or timothy, teff is not as widely cultivated. This limited supply is due in part to the specialized growing requirements and the fact that it is still a relatively new crop in many regions. When demand outstrips supply, prices naturally increase.

3. High Nutritional Value

Teff hay is prized for its nutritional benefits, especially its low sugar and high fiber content. This makes it an excellent choice for horses prone to metabolic issues. Horse owners are willing to pay a premium for these health benefits, which drives up the price of teff hay.

4. Harvesting and Processing Challenges

Harvesting teff hay requires precise timing to ensure maximum nutritional value. The plants need to be cut at the right stage of maturity and carefully handled to avoid leaf loss and damage. This meticulous process requires more labor and expertise, adding to the overall cost.

5. Market Dynamics

As awareness of teff hay's benefits grows, so does its demand. This increasing demand, combined with the factors mentioned above, creates a market where teff hay commands a higher price. Additionally, transporting teff hay from regions where it is grown to areas where it is in high demand can also add to the cost.


While teff hay may come with a higher price tag, its benefits often justify the cost for horse owners seeking the best forage for their animals. Understanding the factors behind the price helps appreciate the value teff hay offers. From specialized growing conditions to its high nutritional value, teff hay remains a premium choice for those looking to provide top-quality nutrition for their horses.

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