the price

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Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2007
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Winchester, IL
i'm considering buying a truck and will have to do some wheeling and dealing with my finances so i called my hay guy this weekend to see what he will be charging this year for hay. last year, it was $3.50/bale. he has raised his price to $4.25/bale and that's NOT delivered. i will have to pay a couple of guys to deliver it for me.

thank GOD i bought 200 extra bales last summer!!!!! good grass hay (this is orchard grass, not a weed in sight) is next to impossible to find around here. this is cow country, if somebody advertises "grass hay", it's likely they just baled waterways and roadside ditches. :DOH! so, i was glad to find this supplier, he has several hundred acres he bales strictly for horse people.

i'm in west central illinois. i have seen ads in the paper all winter for hay, anywhere from $6 to $8 a bale. SMALL SQUARE BALES!!!!

what's everybody else paying these days?
We paid $6 a bale last year in April. By September, it was $11 to $13 a bale here. We are talking orchard grass here....

My hayman won't quote a price yet. Fertilizer went from $330 a ton here in January to $700 a ton now. Diesel fuel is skyrocketing.

We bought some left over last year hay just last week. We paid $8 a bale. Went back for $15 more bales and it is now $11 a bale (NOT delivered!)

If you don't want your hay, let me know....I will rent a truck and come get it! LOL!
suzie, are you talking small square bales??? if you are...OMG!!!!

i have had several people call me recently. they say they are short on hay and would like to buy some of mine since i have "extra". i have politely declined. i don't consider it "extra" because eventually, i will be feeding it. :DOH!

depending on finances, i will try to buy another "extra" 100 bales or so this summer. at this rate, who knows what it'll cost NEXT summer!
It was a hot summer and my hay guy didn't have any hay last year! I found two guys with extra and paid $3.75 for some and $2.5 for the other, but those were light bales. We bought 200 bales--but ran out. My husband and dad went to an auction and found some decent stuff and paid $5.20 a bale for 70 bales. These are heavy! The alfalfa is inconsistent--I'd prefer it to be much lighter in that department. But, it's green. I'm starting to cut down on what they get due to grass coming in.... so I should be all set. I'd better give my hay guy a call and see what his plan is for this year.
I have a orchard/timothy/alfalfa mix, 11.50 a bale this last time, which was about a month ago. Its not very consistent, the load before was LOADED with alfalfa and heavy bales about 60 lbs, this load is mostly grass and maybe 35 lbs. But down here we cant be too picky its always been pricey to get good hay here. Coastal hay here is up to 8.00 at the feed store. I don't feed it so I don't know the price from a supplier.

We paid $3.50 a bale last year. The key is not to buy right now if you dont have to. They are selling last years hay high now because people need it. The price normally comes back down a bit when they start doing this years crop.
Yes, small square bales. I actually tripled my hay order last year and locked in my price the fall before. I felt lucky getting mine as cheaply as I did. I at least got mine. My hayman did not get but one cutting last year. I actually think he may starting cutting new hay in the next 1-2 weeks and I CAN"T WAIT!!! LOL!

I always order more than I think I will need. But last year we never had any pasture to speak of and had to feed hay all year long. This year is looking better so far. We cleared 4 more acres and sowed it in timothy so perhaps we can at least have some pasture this year!

I will pay what I have to pay I guess. The only thing I have seen going down lately is my savings account. Everything else just goes up and up.
Locally, a square bale of hay is selling for at least 8 dollars!

I cannot imagine what my neighbor is paying for the large rolls he need for his full size horses!

I am fortunate that a patient of our office has a hay farm and she has offered me a deal I cannot refuse!

My husband also found a local farmer who will sell it for 3 bucks a I only need one or two at a time it isn't such a big deal...

feeding just one mini doesn't break the bank...but I am planning on stocking up this summer to last a bit.

I just got my first mini this year and am learning quickly how find sources!
Hay around here is going for over $6 a small square bale (timothy hay) IF you can find it. A lot of our hay gets trucked in from NY and Canada and the gas prices are killing us. I am afraid my hay dealer is going out of business. He just sold his hay delivery truck and won't have any hay for at least another week. He used to sell a trailer truck load every few days, but he said a lot of his customers have sold their animals. The last hay on his trailer got sold out from under me last week - while I was standing there asking his help to load it on MY truck. I bought beet pulp and alfalfa cubes.
I'm just outside of Austin and I'm paying 8.50 for a small square bale of hay that I pick up. Thank goodness I'm only feeding two miniatures and they have two acres also. Now if we continue in a drought, the prices will begin to go up.
How'd you like to pay $18 a bale for Timothy? I'm talking a 40 pound bale - not a large one. We've been charged as much as $22 per bale for a slightly heavier bale.

Welcome to Long Island, NY prices!
Last year: Small square bales.a full 60 lbs.(thank goodness, my alfalfa supplier sells by the ton--but it still averaged close to $6/bale, and this is alfalfa-growing country(feed stores were selling it for about $6.50/bale,before tax....)EXCELLENT hay, though, in nutrition as well as appearance, because I've known these folks for 30-someodd years, and they fertilize as they should!).Grass hay, about 45-50 lb. bales-$9-10/bale, BEFORE tax! That's a 'you pick it up' price on both kinds of hay....some of you don't realize how fortunate you (still) are...! God only knows what it will be this year, with this latest fuel price run-up...I do not have pasture; this is the dry high desert SW, and there's no such thing unless you live down in the river valley where there is irrigated land--or pay through the nose for the electricity to pump it out of deep wells in some places.


Edited to add: some of these prices are TRULY scary to someone like me. I see more very hard choices rising up....believe me, there are more reasons than nostalgia to LONG for the 'good old days'......
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Here in Northern California, I have been paying $18.00 a bale for orchard grass! I was hoping it would go down this summer but it doesn't sound like it will.

Shelia B.
When talking about how much you pay for hay please tell us how big the bale is in pounds. The size of bales vary a lot around the country. I buy 80# bales, a few house down from me they sell 110# bales. By giveing the size it gives a better comparison. Last year I paid $225 a ton for 80# bales. So thats 25 bales per ton, which is $9 per bale. And for those that are not sure a ton is 2000 pounds.
From out typical hay guy, in the summer we pay $1.75 for 50lb orchard grass/ alfalfa mix hay. In the winter that bumps up to $3.00 for a 50lb bale.

This year im execting to pay probably like $2.00 summer and $3.50 winter. Im guessing it will raise a bit but not much.

We pick up out own hay, he loads it for us however, so we do no pay a delivery charge.
I am SO glad that we grow our own hay now! We pay a neighbor to cut and bale it for us, and we have to pay for the electricity to irrigate it, but that comes out to be a lot less per bale and per ton than people who are having to buy it outright are paying. A friend in the area told me that though they used to pay $200 a ton for grass hay (about $6.25 per 60 pound bale) they are now having to pay almost twice that.
They are looking into getting the half-ton bales instead, as they aren't as expensive.
We buy alfalfa from Kansas, and have it shipped to KY, cost, 220.00 ton. Last fall we were buying the same hay at 185.00 ton. Big 3 x 3 x 8 bales or sometimes 4 x 4 x 8 bales.

If you buy locally, prices vary greatly dependant upon quality. We also raise alfalfa hay ourselves, but with the cost of fert. over 500 ton, you cant hardly raise it. With diesal fuel costs now at 4.00, and farm diesal at 3.79, I ll guarantee hay prices have to rise this year. We have about 50 acres of alfalfa on one farm, but have decided to start buying all our hay now. ( well once it plays out). We will still roll all the grass, oats, and wheat hay but a person can honestly buy it almost for what it costs to raise it. Hay producers are not making the money, now the shippers maybe, maybe not.
Good sized square bale is going for $7 to $8 a bale here in southern NJ. This is good quality timothy.
I just paid $14.95 per bale for timothy alfalfa. They're average size bales. Its green but I'm not going to say my horses are "crazy about it". I would kill for $4-$5 hay. The quality we get here is so diverse. Drives me crazy!! I would love to find someone to go in on a semi load with. My only problem is that I can only store at the most 200 bales.
I am switching out the show horses to Timothy cubes, which I will soak. Easier portion control, and also gets more moisture into their gut while they are under stress and traveling. It is $12.99 for a 40 lb bag, but I think with the ease of measuring, etc., my horses will have a more appropriate portion for weight/size, and they still don't eat that much. The cubes are also so much more portable. Now if you want to talk expensive, try having a pasture full of big horse retirees!!! The price of EVERYTHING is getting outrageous! I am not sure I am going to be able to get to Nationals this year. I also pulled my one horse out of training, I just can't afford it right now. I will condition and train him myself.

That being said, I still feel like one of the luckiest people on earth. If I couldn't get to a single show, I still have the farm, an arena to work my horses in, some of the most beautiful country in the USA all around me to go drive in. Life is still good, if a bit less extravagant.

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