Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hay shortages from freeze and drought send prices skyward and farmers scrambling

Horse and cattle owners around the country are facing high prices for hay and a nationwide shortage. (Some Virginia cows eat grain due to the hay shortage, in an Associated Press photo by Steve Helber.)

In parts of the Midwest and South, a late spring freeze and a lengthy drought "savaged hay crops and kept pastures from greening, forcing producers to tap hay stockpiles months earlier than usual," Jim Suhr writes. "The scenario has left beef producers with few options other than selling off parts of their herds for fear there will not be anything to feed them through winter, or jockeying to buy increasingly scarce hay elsewhere at higher prices." Hay production is down 80 percent in Tennessee and 50 percent in Kentucky, where the crop produced more income than tobacco last year. Alfalfa hay, the most popular kind, is up about $25 per ton from last year; a cow needs about two tons to survive winter. (Read more)

In Virginia, prices for hay are the highest in 14 years, an auctioneer told Lancaster Farming. On average, the price for a small bale of hay was going up $1 or more every few weeks in October. (Read more) In North Carolina, a horse sanctuary is in dire straits due to the increased price of hay, reports The Charlotte Observer. (Read more) Thanks to Al Tompkins and today's "Al's Morning Meeting" on Poynter Online, which spotlighted stories on the problem.

1 comment:

Hay for Sell said...

Plenty of Hay in Texas - will sell to those in need. Please call David John of DJ Cattle Company, Victoria, Texas, at 361-676-4604 or 361-575-0303. Gardo, Bermuda, Mix, Jigs, etc. Call for more information!!