Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Price of Hay

Brett put in our monthly hay order the other day and noticed that the bill was much higher than usual.  He called the feed store to see if there was an error somewhere.  Nope.  Hay prices have gone up by a couple dollars (so our orchard hay is now close to $25/square bale). 

The lady at the feed store said alfalfa has seen the biggest jump.  It was $12/bale and now it is $22!  She said that most of the alfalfa from California is being shipped overseas, primarily to China and Russia.  This strikes me as odd.  Surely alfalfa grows there as well.  And why the sudden need for so much alfalfa?

Have any of you heard this?  Experienced it?  I'm thankful that the only alfalfa we use is for the goats since they are still growing.  It is a popular feed for horses here, probably in part due to its (past) low price.  I imagine many people will be switching to grass hay now.  I'm not sure what Bermuda goes for now but I suspect it may be cheaper than alfalfa.

Yipes!

7 comments:

  1. we feed primarily coastal here. i went last month and could still find it for $8 a bale at my feed store (i about fell over because i figured it would be MUCH higher due to the drought). i'm hoping this next trip won't be too painful but am thinking texas is going to be hurting for a while.

    your prices are outrageous!!!

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  2. What!!!
    How big is your square bales?
    Hoping bigger then our 60lb bales we buy for $2 each!!
    We buy 5x5 round bales for $20.
    That is just scandalous!!

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  3. Hay is cheaper everywhere else in the world but here in California.

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  4. That's amazing. We feed both Grass and Alfalfa in the winter and early spring. We paid 175 a ton, delivered, for beautiful alfalfa.

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  5. akkk! I can't imagine. We feed alfalfa in the winter, I have no idea what the cost is but I'm going to guess it will be pretty high. Up here in Washington we had such a cold spring that it caused big issues with the hay. Last year it was too dang wet and the alfalfa farmers couldn't even get into their fields to cut, the year before that it was the gas prices (of course now it's the gas prices as well) and it doesn't help that Russia and China's economies are booming while ours sucks. They don't have the climate to grow alfalfa like we do, from what I hear.
    We just can't seem to catch a break.

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  6. I want to know how big a square bail is too. How long does it last for your three horses. I get first cutting for $3 a bale delivered and will pay $3.45-4 for second cutting. I prefer a grass alfalfa mix. Yes Brett, you get taken to the cleaners in California.

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  7. i just wanted to pipe in that here in germany no one is able to grow alfalfa. we can barely grow hay here. most horses eat silage, which does not require sunny weather.

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.