Hay shortage one more kick to farmers who are already down

US - Moniteau County farmers have had a tough year. The summer was exceptionally warm. Crops saw little rain. But, the drought that adversely affected farmers then has had far reaching effects.
calendar icon 13 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Hay is now in high demand in Moniteau County, and there may not be enough to go around.

Daryl Raithel, county director at the Moniteau Farm Service Agency, said that based on the normal price of hay, there is a shortage.

The problem, Raithel said, is not necessarily that farmers are out of hay, but the ones who do have it are afraid to sell it. Winter could go long, and hay sold as excess might be needed later.

The shortage of available hay has resulted in high prices and high demand. Hay prices have nearly tripled. A bale of hay usually fetches around $25. Recently, farmers have been paying as much as $60. Many farmers are still trying to recover from a year of drought. And now, hay has become one more financial burden.

Raithel said money from the federal government has been allocated to Moniteau County farmers for the drought. It was issued in December. Will it help? “It's okay, but the money isn't really enough to do much good,” he said.

Adding to the problem is that cattle and livestock need nearly twice as much to eat when it is cold. This helps them maintain body heat and stay warm.

Missouri is currently experiencing a resurgence of winter weather after many mild years. Temperatures have been low for sometime. The ground is far too cold to make grazing an option, and what grass is available is buried beneath a layer of ice and snow. It is posing a challenge to livestock owners to keep the animals fed.

Ed Bleich, a local livestock owner, said he has not had to buy any hay, yet. “I think I will have enough to run me through winter,” Bleich said.

“Unless it stays bad like this, then I might have to,” he added.

Source: California Democrat
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.