I did not have hay problems this year and the prices were reasonable. My rough boarder went for hay today-- round bale 30.00. Squares at our county farm 4.50. Last week one ME farmer was offering 3.50 a bale at his barn. Up until the last week for second crop in the field 2.50 ...probably had weeds for that price but it was offered.
South central Tennessee apparently- we baled hay off our pastures this spring and can't give it away- everyone seems set hay-wise. Works out okay since we're now getting a horse back so will have something to eat it ; )
I don't think it was too bad a year here in Washington, but I know lots of suppliers have been selling their hay to places in the country that DO have a shortage. Or, even more slimy, they are stockpiling it until those parts of the country are desperate and will pay a lot more. So a hay shortage has been created here because, having heard about this, everyone here has stockpiled what was available. Soon there will be people coming with high-priced truckloads for US while they deplete the horse folks where THEY came from... it's a forage-go-round...
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf
Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?
We always have to irrigate our hay in the desert-constant "drought" so it always surprises me to be reminded other places don't necessarily use irrigation. This year there was a lot more rain, though, so crops did very well, though we had to return some hay which was baled wet and therefore moldy inside.
I believe a lot of hay is being shipped out of AZ to more desperate areas, too, and people are stockpiling to fill their barns in case the shortages they hear about elsewhere hit us, so my supplier has had trouble keeping hay in stock - they have gotten in new loads far more often than normal lately. Prices also jumped up when it started getting cold in other areas, but I think are still lower than they were last winter. I can't compare prices to square bales because our alfalfa bales are over 100 lbs, but I'm guessing they're over $20/bale by now. I will probably have to buy hay once more before spring due to lack of storage space, but hopefully that won't be a problem next year...
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
Western NY faired pretty well for first cutting anyway. The drought didn't start until June which actually helped get all the hay in. Some fields were hit with cut worms which reduced the volume, but if you didn't get cut worms you were fine.
Here in Northern Minnesota hay was great. We got 3 good cuttings before the rain shut off in August. I bought some nice grass hay round bales to go with the alfalfa we have. They are trucking it out to other places , but it is still easy to get.
If you look at the whole country, there is usually a region where there is a hay shortage somewhere most years. Last year in the Midwest we had a surplus--four cuttings here, and the excess was shipped to Texas where they had a severe shortage. This year early, WE were the ones in trouble, with the 2nd cutting barely salvageable and little hope for later cuttings. Turns out we did get some rain and most farmers were able to make a third cutting.
So it's all dependent on the weather, really. Since hay is a commodity, it is perfectly normal to see areas with a surplus shipping (at a profit) to areas with a shortage. People get all up in arms about that, but it's simple supply/demand economics.
I paid a little extra this year but it's the first price increase in 6 years so no complaints.
Pricing hay in November is almost as depressing as pricing it in February, so it does pay to be pro-active.
Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
The PNW had a very good hay year. As usual the first cut of alfalfa got rained on in spots, but my hay guy told me the hay men got in 3-4 cuts of alfalfa and at least of 3 grass. It is expensive--$280-$300/ton, but available. Our local was abundant and is running $3-5/bale (65lb), but generally the quality is "lunch" or "filler" for your performance horses/slightly hard keepers. I know that many hay suppliers will be shipping our big bales to the Midwest, Texas and points east...for a premium.
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
I board, so I don't buy my own hay. We were hit hard last year, and this year with drought, so haven't caught much of a break, and next year's predictions aren't looking good either. The barn I board at only got 1 cutting off their fields worth anything, other places got maybe 2.
I'm planning on moving in the next year or two so glad to see its not this bad elsewhere lol!