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Small article from "The Horse" magazine

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Magic

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To paraphrase, the USDA reports that indicate the number of acres producing hay will be down in 2008. They also report that the existing hay supply is lower than in previous years. This, along with higher production costs (fuel and fertilizer, etc), will likely result in higher hay prices.

The University of Minnesota recommends that horse owners be prepared by:

*Remembering that quality forage should be the backbone of your horse's diet

*Have a good working relationship with a hay supplier to help ensure a consistent and reliable source of hay

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

*Plan in advance. Budget for the price increase and reevaluate how many horses you can afford to feed.

*Try to keep your hay type consistent, as constantly changing hay types can lead to horse health problems, specifically colic.

I have to say that I am VERY glad that we had a huge hay shelter built this year, and that we raise our own hay. If anyone lives near enough to come pick up hay from my area (northern Utah) and you need hay, let me know: my surrounding neighbors are all growing hay (admittedly it is alfalfa hay and not a mix like we grow) but I may very well be able to set you up to buy some reasonably priced hay.
 

Magic

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That's true, since the price of corn, wheat, etc, is going up, a lot of farmers will be growing THOSE instead of hay, which in turn will raise the price of hay.
 

muffntuf

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That article from the U of MN came out over 2 months ago. Before we had rain, but with more fields producing corn instead of hay or other necessary grain products, it will impact our industry.

If someone were smart and they had extra acreage and turned it into nice hay/alfalfa mix, they could make a living at it now.
 

Kitty

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Our weather has been great for hay. Maybe alittle cold but I know alot of people are getting ready to hay within the next week. I won't take any chances this year.

It is the grain prices that are out of control. My grain I get every 3 weeks has gone from $280.00 to $360.00 unreal and only getting worse.
 

CKC

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We have been getting so much rain that there is not a shortage with my hay supplier yet. However, our problem is the budget. They have gone from $5.75 for first cutting last year to $9 for first cutting this year.
 

Russ

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Good post and I would highly recommend getting hay when you can.

I wanted to mention that just today, the United States Dept. of Agriculture announced opening up the CRP land for haying/grazing. It was done to help the cattle producer mostly but it should help everyone a little. Now there are terms to this early release to the land owner but this is great news as more hay on the market will help. But you have to realize that CRP acres are mostly grass and not always the best quality.

So if you know a farmer or land owner who has CRP acres, talk to them.....look at the grass and maybe you can come to a agreement to buy some hay.
 

donnalee

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We had a terrible drought in NC last year. I paid $10/bale for hay through the winter. So far we're having a good rainy spring and its been cool. Local people are making nice hay, but I am sure with the cost of fuel the prices will still be much higher than usual. The fuel cost is also driving up grain prices. I wonder, after writing The Book of Draft Horses and The Book of Mules if even more small farmers will be going from tractors back to real horse power.
 

Rebecca

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Too bad we don't have much space to store lots of hay!
Last year I know some people in the area had a bit of trouble getting hay. It was hard to get nice hay this spring at a good price but it's better (for now). We picked up 8 bales, about as much as we can store. It was good hay and a nice price so we snatched it up! (That much hay will probably last almost 2 months here.)

As said, get it when you can.

Thanks for posting this! I figured it would be a tough year but not that tough.
 

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