Hay production will be reduced in 2008

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Chaos Ranch

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2003
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Northeast Arkansas
From TheHorse.com

by: University of Minnesota Extension

April 22 2008, Article # 11717

The USDA has released several crop reports that indicate the number

of hay acres will be down in 2008.

The department also reported that the existing hay supply is lower

than previous years. This information, combined with higher input

costs (fuel, fertilizer, land rent) and higher grain prices (corn,

soybean, wheat), will likely lead to increased hay prices.

Through the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2008, Minnesota's Sauk

Center Quality Tested Hay Auction recorded record prices. Average hay

prices were $100 a ton higher in 2007-2008 than the previous five-

year average.

To prepare for higher prices, the University of Minnesota recommended

that horse owners:

Remember quality forage should be the backbone of your horse's diet.

Have a good working relationship with a hay supplier to ensure a

consistent and reliable source of hay.

Consider adding hay storage space to reduce the effects of price and

seasonal fluctuations.

Buy hay early. Do not wait until late summer or fall to buy hay.

Plan in advance. Budget for the price increase and re-evaluate how

many horses you can afford to feed.

Finally, try to keep your hay type (like grass or alfalfa)

consistent. Constantly changing hay types can lead to horse health

problems, specifically colic.
Thanks for sharing that!

We are in the process right now of getting a big hay shelter built, which will hold about 40 tons of hay, which is about what we produce here per season. Last year we had the hay in a huge stack, tarped, which isn't as effective at keeping out moisture as one would hope, and is a pain to get hay out of when the tarps are so large. This new shelter, though expensive, is going to be really nice to have.

I do hope that hay isn't as limited this year as the projections seem to indicate!

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