According to the association that represents sugar beet growers, there WAS a problem with the drought in 2003-2005. Most states have INCREASED their planting acres this past year according to the USDA.
There are 11 states that grow beet pulp. Except for Michigan, they are all West of the Mississippi. The biggest growers are the northern states of ND, ID, MT and Michigan. After that is CA, CO, WY, WA, IA, etc.
I makes more sense to me that the "shortage" East and South is more due to fuel costs since the price of sugar has not increased like other crops.
It is around $8 for pellets and $10 a bag for shredded. I guess there are folks coming here to buy up supplies and take them east and south.
The 'official' shortage of all beet pulp should be over. My Southern States store in Charlottesville has been able to get beet pulp without molasses for the last couple of weeks.
Also, I was told that beet pulp with molasses should be available sometime in the next week or so.
Alternatives are Hay Stretcher pellets like the Reliance brand, like others said, add more fat, or the chopped forages.
Here in Ocala, FL we have a shortage. If you do find a store, they are charging between $17-21 a 40lb bag. I remember paying this summer no more than $11. The feed stores are saying that they should see BP the end of Oct. or Nov. Let me know if anyone else has it cheaper.
I have been trying unsuccessfully to get it southwest of Houston. One guy I talked to said his supplier told him that the next shipment would be in three weeks. Finally found some in East Bernard...for $18 per bag. Nice. Oddly enough - two of the feed stores I talked to said that someone came through and bought up all they had about a week or so ago and they had not been able to get more.
There is a lack of BP in our area as well in IL. I tracked down one bag for my two boys as it's the only thing I have found that my picky TB will eat and not lose weight. Forunately the one 40lb bag should last us a while, though it takes up a lot of my poor Corolla's trunk!
Becky & the boys
Becky & Red
In Loving Memory of Gabriel, 1998-2005 and Raalph, 1977-2013
Where my horse is boarded she has stopped feeding beet because it costs $27 a bag!!!! So she has stopped it and some of the horses are getting extra TC complete and to up some of the horses hay she is thinking about hay nets over night since ones like my horse when given more than 4 flakes make a bed instead of eat it! She is considering hay pellets for some, and currently is paying the high price for a very old pony that can't eat hay.
Please, please consider Buckeye Ultimate Finish. It's a top-dress fat supplement and it is absolutely incredible at putting weight on horses without making them crazy.
It put almost 200lbs on my mare (OTTB) when I used it. Started at a cup a day, then weaned to 1/2 cup a day, then took her off. This was over about 4-6 months, and she has maintained weight ever since.
I have seen it used with great success on other OTTBs as well.
I started having trouble keeping weight on my older guy and started feeding him Show Bloom. I no longer have issues with weight and his coat, mane, tail and hooves are awesome.
You only have to feed a small scoop in the morning and night. Don't know if that helps any. I've also used corn oil, and that worked as well, but the Show Bloom has way more than just fat and calories in it and it's WAY less messy!
Well here in eastern Kansas the shortage just appeared. What is in the stores now is all until November 1, at the earliest. My feed dealer held back 8 weeks worth for me hoping the supply will be ironed out by then. However, she only had plain beet pulp, non with molasses on it.
I use BP for many reasons, one of which is I do not have to increase hay rations if I increase BP rations when as the weather gets colder.
For nutritional reasons, rather than shortage reasons, I've switched to Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes. They have beet pulp in them, are mineral balanced, and are guaranteed below 10% NSC. I soak them. They fluff up beautifully.