The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says Nevada farmers received $150 a ton for alfalfa hay in January. That’s assuredly a statewide average.
Historian Robert D. McCracken, writing in A History of Amargosa Valley, Nevada, says when nearby mines were operating in the 1880s, hay farmers earned a hefty return.
In those days Amargosa farmers got four cuttings a year, six tons to the acre, and the hay sold from $70 to $200 a ton. (It may have been native grass hay.)
Adjusted for inflation, that means $1,896 to $5,418.58 a ton in today’s dollars. That was undoubtedly more per ton than most ore being pulled out of the mines.