Archive for June 16, 2011

The Price of Hay . . .   1 comment

. . . is a Problem. 

It looks like we’re going to be paying $270 a ton, delivered.  Last year at the same time, we paid $145.  That’s almost double. 

We raised our monthly fee by $20.  If hay doesn’t come down — and there are rumors it might go up — it’ll cost $30 a month more to feed a horse.  Those aren’t good numbers. 

We’ll order a couple of truck-and-trailer loads right now, then hold off, hoping the price will come down a little.  If it doesn’t, we’ll not only empty our hay account, but have to dip into savings to make up the difference.

We, at least, have a hay account, and savings.  We can make it this year — though without a profit.  There are a lot of people, both individuals and stables, who won’t be able to.

Why is hay so expensive?  I think I’ve said before that it’s a kind of perfect storm.  Cotton prices went out of sight, due to crop failure in India and China, so there was much more cotton than alfalfa planted.  The three-year drought and the shortage of water from the Delta meant that farmers had to choose their crops with care.  Then the weather stayed cool and rainy throughout the spring.  It was impossible to make hay through most of the early growing period.  Last, there’s the price of gas, driving up both farm expenses and the cost of hauling.

It’s going to be a rough year for horses — and their owners.

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Posted June 16, 2011 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch