Input costs and drought are leading some farmers to find hay alternatives
The drought is having an impact on the U.S. hay crop.
A Wisconsin Extension Agent says that it is hard to buy hay, even as many producers are cutting their second crop. The agent says that reports of hay available at auctions used to be three to four pages, now there is just a single page. Transportation costs are also hurting sales with the increase in fuel prices.
Despite these issues, this year’s harvest area is expected to be up slightly from last year at 51 million acres.
Those hay issues have livestock producers looking for alternative feedstock. A cattle producer in Kansas is using turnips and radishes on her operation for now. She is also trying to bail some straw, and looking for ways to “enrich” the bales to make them a potential feedstuff. She says that a good rain would help ease the tight market.