Hay shortage hurting cattle

US - The twisting roads of Baldwin County lead to ranches. On those ranches are many hungry beef cows. This is the hungriest winter in decades because there's just not much hay.
calendar icon 9 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Blame it on the rain, or lack there of, the drought of '06 still has lasting implications for ranchers. "It was so dry during the summer we couldn't make no hay, so it put everybody with a shortage," said rancher John Solomon.

The shortage can be felt at the livestock auction in Robertsdale, Alabama. Many of the cows being auctioned are going prematurely, because ranchers don't have hay to feed them. Many cows, with ribs showing, will be auctioned off for about $130. A nice sized beef cow is going for around $800.

"They're selling a few cattle here today because, you know, hay has gotten tight," said Solomon. He's done that before and knows all about the hay shortage. Solomon bails his own hay, but the drought cut his production in half. "There's been people from northern Alabama coming down here to get hay. A lot of peanut hay has gone north. I've never seen anything like that before," he said.

Round bails once sold for around $35. Now they're fetching closer to $70, and $100 in parts of the midwest.

Besides the weather, there's another crop killing hay fields in Baldwin County. Subdivision after subdivision is sprouting from the ground. Ranchers and farmers just keep selling land. "But, big money is being offered and it's hard to turn that down," said Solomon.

Source: Fox10tv.com
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.