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luvmyBlackBeauty 09-12-2012 12:02 PM

Dramatizing "hay shortage"
Hi. Anyone else think the "hay shortage" caused by the drought this summer is being exploited and overdramatized by outrageous board increases, greedy BO's, etc?

We have had nothing but rain here the past few weeks and I am sure there are bumper crops everywhere...!

Delfina 09-12-2012 12:19 PM


Go look at the price of fuel. Gas stations don't give you a discount if the Diesel is going in a tractor.....

Hay doesn't grow in WEEKS. Maybe it's pouring for a few weeks where you are so the farmers *might* get a one great cutting. That in no way, shape or form makes up for the terrible or even non-existent other cuttings they got this year.

Even if YOUR area had a wonderful hay season with plenty of rain, the rest of the country didn't! Today is the first day in months and months and months that it has rained here. There is no hay to be cut here so it's being trucked in from states that did get rain. This causes a shortage in those states.

As far as greedy BO's? Try broke, struggling BO's who are spending hours trying to find even semi-decent hay that isn't double the normal price. I buy my own hay and my BO and I spent hours upon hours looking at "hay" this week. More like looking at dead, stemmy weeds people tried to sell as hay for $15 a small bale!!!

SouthernTrails 09-12-2012 12:19 PM


Depends on what part of the County and type of grass cut for the hay.

Some areas get 3 cuts per year, some get as many as 5.

Just because it rains lately would not make up the the possible loss of cuts previously.

Do people use excuses to raise prices? Hay, Gas, Food, etc.
I would say probably, it seems when that "disaster" hits prices go up on anything related overnight, when the "disaster" is over or whatever caused the Spike in a prices they always take months and sometimes almost never go back down.


apachiedragon 09-12-2012 12:27 PM

We make our own hay and let me tell you, a little rain does NOT always equal plenty of hay. We got a great first cutting, and it looked to be a good year, but between bugs, heat, and drought, we likely won't even get a SECOND cutting, even though the last few weeks have had a good bit of rain. My hay supply is less than a third of what I normally have this year, and not anywhere near enough to get me until spring, so now on top of the cost of maintaining my equipment, I will STILL have to buy hay at insane mark-ups.

The hay sellers aren't dumb. They know people have no choice but to buy hay at whatever price they set, no matter what quality, because the animals still have to eat. You shouldn't expect the BO's to take it on the chin and spend three times as much to FEED your horse while your cost remains the same. They have to make a living too.

MN Tigerstripes 09-12-2012 12:27 PM

I was EXTREMELY lucky to find hay for my horses this year. When I spoke with my hay supplier a month ago, he only had 1/2 of ONE barn full. By this time of year he usually has 2 FULL barns.

Of the other hay suppliers I know, they are all out of hay. Completely out. One of these guys has never run out of hay as long as I can remember.

You think the BOs are exaggerating?? They are struggling to find enough hay to feed YOUR horses and save their businesses. Maybe you should go hay shopping and see what's really out there before you start thinking that they are exploiting the situation.

kitten_Val 09-12-2012 12:41 PM

Maryland seems to be more or less OK this year (for some reason grass been growing all summer, although we lost other crops like, say, cherries because of the weird winter/spring). However in some parts of the country the drought was really bad. If I'm not mistaking 55% of states had no rain. So no, I do NOT think it was over-dramatized, and with the shortage and fuel price I can bet it'll be a tough winter for some owners as well as BOs. :(

Allison Finch 09-12-2012 12:42 PM

Even here in NC we are having trouble finding hay. We have had a good year, but people are driving half way across the country trying to find hay. They are buying so much of ours, we are starting to see shortages.

That fuel, driving across the country in an attempt to find hay to feed YOUR horse is not cheap. Just be glad people are scrambling so much to feed YOUR horse. You don't expect to pay a fair amount to feed YOUR horse? You think the BO's should absorb all these extra costs to feed YOUR horse?

Speed Racer 09-12-2012 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by luvmyBlackBeauty (Post 1680566)
Hi. Anyone else think the "hay shortage" caused by the drought this summer is being exploited and overdramatized by outrageous board increases, greedy BO's, etc?

Nope. I think you have no idea what you're yammering on about.

The drought is very real in certain areas, and I don't think BOs are being 'greedy' if they're paying 3 to 4 times what they used to for hay and passing the additional cost along to their boarders.


Originally Posted by luvmyBlackBeauty (Post 1680566)
We have had nothing but rain here the past few weeks and I am sure there are bumper crops everywhere...!

If you're so sure that cheap, abundant hay exists, then go find it and give your BO the good news so they can go buy it.

Horses are expensive luxury items. If you don't want to pay the rising costs for them, then I suggest you sell yours to someone who understands that things are only going to get more expensive, not less.

MHFoundation Quarters 09-12-2012 12:50 PM

I live in an area where in a normal year there is an excess and hay is cheap. We've had the first drought here in decades and it is hard to find decent hay and prices for junk hay are 3 times what you'd pay in a normal year for excellent hay.

I only have one boarder (a good family friend) and don't plan to have any more but this is exactly why buying hay & feed is her expense. There is no way I could feed that horse for what she pays for board let alone be getting paid for my time, water, electricity, and maintenance costs.

I would say that with the year that a large portion of our country has had as far as hay goes we should all be thankful that we have hay to feed our horses period.

HorseMom1025 09-12-2012 12:54 PM

My board went up $20 each month (pasture boarding) to cover rising costs and I'm happy to pay it. We're in Texas and I've seen the results of the drought in all the skinny animals going to auction and rescue.

I don't think I would ever call my BO greedy. I'm not sure she even breaks even most months. :(
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