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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2021 isn't being kind horrible year so far. Pastures about done drying up no rain now for quite some time. Hay is hard to find, this year's crops are way down in production.

Big rounds are anywhere from 75$ to120$ per bale. Around here no one has hay ,2020 hay is sold. Hay crops here aren't even up enough to cut.

Even with lack of rain dusty dry grass burnt off lack of standing water. Mosquitos are swarming horse flies are swarming during the day, deer flies are out full force. Little black house like flies are out full force.

Bugs started in late may it's 6-9 and it's full force bug season. And there's been no rain what we've had didn't even wet the ground.

Buying 10 pallets of forage cubes to supplement hay. I'm seriously worried I'll run out of hay by mid winter. Already having to feed hay during the day. Won't be long and I'll be feeding hay only.

At a bale a month won't take long for my hay supply to dewindle down. That's feeding minimal amounts to both horses. Probably keeping both horses at a 4 body score or a tad lower on body score.

Pasture is getting down to minimal grazing left. And it's been high 90s an humid. Bugs are bad by 7 am so horses are in barn till 9pm before I can turn them out. Nothing repels the horse flies or deer flies. House like flies I use traps an bait to lower the numbers.

Seriously I'm hating summer !! Having to ride at dusk to avoid being carried off by horse flies and deer flies. Then have to literally soak ourselves in mosquito spray so the little vampires don't eat us alive.

Another I'm ranting post this time ,about stuff I don't have much control over.
 

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I cannot “like” your post but I have empathy And I honestly get your stress.

We went through an exceptional drought in my area from 2007-2009. To the point the ground cracked and stunk like it did when I lived in Southern California’s Low Desert. I didn’t think the grasses would ever grow back but they did. Coming out of the drought, we had to put 2-4-D on the pastures, to give the grasses a chance to grow before the weeds including clover smothered them out.

There are websites like The Hay Connection where you might look for hay. Is it possible to get some folks together for a semi load?

You might also go to the NewHorse.com website and click on their hay section to what’s available. If you have the money, jump on it right now, even if it means putting the hay on pallets in the garage or buying one of those portable sheds.

What I learned from our two year drought was that trucked in hay was more often than not “crap”, which isn’t my word of choice:poop::poop:

We were able to buy small squares off a semi, parked downtown off the beaten path. The driver was good enough to let me pick my bales, because we brought the race car trailer (125 bales) and cash money. Even at that, the quality left much to be desired.

It amazes me how the bugs can survive in that environment —— and lets not forget the ants:poop::poop:
 

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I feel for you Rambo, when asked what is my least favourite horse chore, I always say haying. It can be so difficult in a bad year, I have already contacted our hay guy and put in our order for this fall as I didn't want to find that there wasn't enough. It is dry here as well and the hay may be short this year.
Our pastures are not growing as usual but no problem there as we have too much anyway.
We seemed to be lucky this year as far as flies, bugs etc. I think we had some usually warm weather in Mar and then cold again and I wonder if that has affected it, they hatched out and then got killed off as they were early. BUT when I went out for a ride the other day we now have the deer flies, dang, They were plaguing the horse and we didn't even go in the woods.
I have no useful advice for you but do sympathize with you and hope you manage to get the hay you need.
I am still trying to figure out what useful purpose deer flies serve, I can sure live without them.
 

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I’m sorry for what you’re going through. We are in a “moderate drought” for the second summer in a row; highly unusual for Michigan, where are biggest problem would normally be what to do with all that water.
Fortunately our township sprays for mosquitoes and I have to pat myself on the back for being instrumental in getting that procedure going by continuously bringing it up at township meetings 🙂 What we’re dealing with now is gnats. Lots and lots of gnats. The flies aren’t bad.
Inexplicably, the grass is growing like crazy despite the lack of rain, including in the pasture. I’m actually having to mow it.
 

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I hear you. Bugs are horrible here. I just finished covering all the horses in Wipe which is about the only thing that provides a little bit of relief. It's been unusually hot here in the last couple of days - hitting 40 Celcius, which broke a nearly century-old temperature record. It hasn't rained in a while, and the pastures are beginning to dry up. It was supposed to rain yesterday, but didn't. Hoping we will get rain on the weekend. You'd think dry conditions would mean less bugs, but nope, they're absolutely unbearable. I don't get bothered by bugs easily, but honestly, I can barely stand being outside.

I'm also worried about hay. I live in a small province where hay used to be cheap so farmers didn't bother improving their hay fields. They just cut whatever grew and sold it cheap (just 5 years ago, I was buying hay in the field at 2.50$ per 50-60 lb square bale). Hay just wasn't a paying crop. Now, after last year, people are desperate but there are very few farmers cutting hay because of this and prices went up. Last year I paid 4$ a square bale. Still ok, can't complain. But this year, a ton of people have moved to my province from Ontario because of the pandemic (properties and housing is far cheaper here, and we had very few cases of Covid so it's viewed as a bit of a haven). This is leading to crazy bidding wars where people are paying way more than asking on houses and properties. And guess what, a lot of horse people are coming here for the cheap land too and they will all be needing hay! Luckily, I have good connections, but long-term, it is a growing problem with less hay being produced due to historically low prices and poor weather conditions, and more people wanting to buy it.

Guess we all need to do a little rain dance. Hope things improve for you @rambo99.
 

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@rambo99 , what part of the country are you in? Our hay pastures are knee to waist high here. We have had so much rain that we are a couple inches ahead for the year. Our extension agent always says we are just 2 weeks away from a drought at anytime. Last drought we had here I started feeding cattle hay to the cows in August and I sold most of the herd just to make it thru winter that year.
 

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Guess we all need to do a little rain dance. Hope things improve for you @rambo99.
As usual the distribution is the problem. I could send you LOTS of rain! We were already flooding 2 days ago and the heavy rain is still going strong... One would think with all the rain the horse flies would be less, but nope, they form clouds around the horses :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm in MN had rain south of us got a few rain drops but that's it. Our best chance for rain is Friday will see what happens. Farmers almanac predicted drought ,hmm so far it's holding true.

My lawn is toasted pasture doesn't look much better. Only green grass is along tree lines.

Not sure if closest neighbor would split a semi load of hay. They do square bales,I do round bales. Here's a picture of lawn,tried getting pics of pasture but deer flies were swarming.
1114548
 

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Very sorry to hear this Rambo99, nothing worse than stressing over how you can feed your animals. And bitey bugs to top it off.
Second year of bumper crops here, a few nice days, then rain, ideal growing conditions. Lots of grass and reasonable prices for last year's local hay. Our hay isn't cut until late July.
 

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Here in NW IL we are starting drought conditions as well. We just cut and baled our first cutting of hay and it was down probably 50-70 bales from other years. Last fall we had a very dry 3 months and 2nd and 3rd cuttings were almost non-existent. We had pop up thunderstorms the past week but unfortunately none popped up where I live. Hay is my biggest head ache as a horse owner. And the gnats are eating everyone alive. I just bought a gallon of Eco Vet fly spray because its the only thing that keeps the gnats and horse flies away. Expensive but my horses are bloody foot stomping messes and they need it.
 

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Bugs here in VT this year seem to be the worst I've ever seen. Ticks are out of hand- I've already had to remove three embedded ticks from myself this year; the horses have at least that many daily and have rubbed their faces and tails raw trying to get relief. Black flies are always awful in June and this year is no exception. I'm really allergic to them and my legs look like I have chicken pox, they're so raw and bitten up. Generally the black flies are gone by 4th of July. The deer and horse flies came out with a vengeance last week already, which seems too early.

I really can't find any spray that gives them relief so I've pretty much stopped even trying. I did order some Cedarcide to at least spray their fetlocks and lower legs, as back of fetlocks are starting to get huge crusty sores from the relentless ticks. The horses pretty much just hide in the sheds all day with their faces shoved in the back corner trying to get away from the worst of the bugs.

Hay conditions here, fortunately, are looking pretty good. Many people just started first cut this week and it looks really nice. We've had a good mix of hot, sunny days and rain. We have our order for 700 squares in, and we go with first cut so am guessing it will probably show up in the next 2-3 weeks.

Fingers crossed for everyone that neither hay nor bugs are too much of a headache as the summer goes on!
 

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Im in upper PA, there is so much gay it seems, signs everywhere that say cheap hay here..... I wonder if hay can be shipped privately, maybe it makes sense. Maybe horse people, farmers etc should start making connections before shtf and everyone panics. Many people think there will be massive supply shortages and it could be good to prepare with connections since different areas of the country have different goods. I heard it’s very bad atm around Berlin, Germany. Bugs have been a big problem for years. In Germany I had bunnies and about 5 got killed by bugs despite having the vaccine. The summers are super dry the last years there too. I’m noticing that fly masks are not as easily available anymore. I wish I could do more for you but I’ll pray that it gets better.
I’ll ask my Grandma in Guatemala, she makes a very effective insect repellent herself and all from dog, horse to human can use it. The mosquitoes are a plaque in rain season there and it helps so much and is non toxic. I’ll ask her right now.
 

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Ok. I got a super quick response . In Guatemala there Are usually three months of the year when insects are a problem so it’s really used for long term and should be fine

distilled water, witch hazel, organic lemon oil, organic aloe, organic neem seed oil, geranium, cedarwood, sandalwood, organic castor oil
In a spray bottle of 500 ml put two drops of each essential oil and two teaspoons of castor oil.
It can be done as a whipped butter if you exchange water for 200 gr coconut oil and 250 gr of Shea butter and mix it with a mixer. Then it’s a sticky body butter.
Also it’s common to burn palm tree nuts . Opened palm tree nuts are burned in small cauldrons and are hanged around, insects hate it but I don’t know if your horses tolerate it. It smells nice actually.

I don’t know if this is helpful at all but thought I’d share it since Guatemala really has a lot of experience dealing with bugs.
 

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I'm in MN had rain south of us got a few rain drops but that's it. Our best chance for rain is Friday will see what happens. Farmers almanac predicted drought ,hmm so far it's holding true.

My lawn is toasted pasture doesn't look much better. Only green grass is along tree lines.

Not sure if closest neighbor would split a semi load of hay. They do square bales,I do round bales. Here's a picture of lawn,tried getting pics of pasture but deer flies were swarming.
View attachment 1114548
Gosh Rambo your pasture IS sparse. I wish I could send you some of mine. I think the reason our pasture is so green and still growing is (a) lots of shade: we took a bean field and virtually forested it, and (b) the type of grass we grew…our pasture used to be part of our lawn, which was planted with Kentucky fescue 31, the best grass you can grow. I understand that some people don’t care for white clover in their pastures, but we overseeded with it and it stays green no matter what (and Angelina loves it.)
Here’s to hoping you can get the hay you need, in addition to some rainfall.
 

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Thank you for the insect repellant recipe. What are the amounts for the things that are not oils, such as witch hazel and aloe?

Here in SW Oregon it is always dry at this time of year. We did not get the usual amount of rain in the wet but enough. The pastures are hip high. People do not make hay in the Coquille river bottom here. They mow the grass when it is high and fibrous, then make round bales totally wrapped in white plastic. Inside, the grass ferments and makes haylege. You don't feed that to horses because it is like silage.

In the winter when the cool season grasses are green but do not grow and have little food value. People feed a few flakes of alfalfa to each cow and well kept horses mostly eat alfalfa. Now I let my horse out on the pasture every day although I give him alfalfa at night. He is a hard keeper and prone to get ulcers so the calcium is good for his stomach pH. The bugs are not too bad- nothing like what other parts of North America are experiencing. I just put a fly mask on my horse and spray fly spray on my cow. Horn flies and gigantic housefly looking things bother much her more than the horses.

One thing I cannot do is turn Dinky ( a mini ) out on the grass because he is fat already and he only eats the seed heads off the grass. My horse does not do this, he eats the grass that is close to the ground. Dinky is turned out on the lawn where the short grass has no seed heads

1114560
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok. I got a super quick response . In Guatemala there Are usually three months of the year when insects are a problem so it’s really used for long term and should be fine

distilled water, witch hazel, organic lemon oil, organic aloe, organic neem seed oil, geranium, cedarwood, sandalwood, organic castor oil
In a spray bottle of 500 ml put two drops of each essential oil and two teaspoons of castor oil.
It can be done as a whipped butter if you exchange water for 200 gr coconut oil and 250 gr of Shea butter and mix it with a mixer. Then it’s a sticky body butter.
Also it’s common to burn palm tree nuts . Opened palm tree nuts are burned in small cauldrons and are hanged around, insects hate it but I don’t know if your horses tolerate it. It smells nice actually.

I don’t know if this is helpful at all but thought I’d share it since Guatemala really has a lot of experience dealing with bugs.
Thank you so much for the fly spray recipe. I'll give it a try.

Have a excessive heat warning up for today high humidity an mid 90s heat index of 100. Lot of people praying for rain we so desperately need.

I didn't even put horses on pasture last night just kept them up near barn an fed hay. There are people who have cows that are going to take them to market. Pastures are running out of grass. Any hay that gets put for sale is gone within hours or just a few days.

Around here locally there is no hay to be found. If farmers got up any amount of hay they are keeping it to feed there own livestock.

I called one guy about hay said if he has enough he'll sell some. But he needs enough to feed his own animals first. Originally said 75 a round bale now he's gone up to 95 a bale. Gas jumped up 10 cents a gallon since memorial weekend. Was a 2.79$ now 2.89$ deisle if 3.20$ I think.

I'm getting 10 pallets of hay cubes this weekend so can feed those. Will get 10 more here in a few weeks. If push comes to shove I'll feed hay cubes. It will cost less then buying hay. Maybe not ideal but my horses will have forage. I can stretch out current hay supply I have using cubes also.

The heat is taking its toll on horses they've lost some weight. I noticed when they'd come in for the day they were pretty hungry. Usually if there getting enough grass to eat, they eat their feed slowly. They were gulping it down.
 

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We were in a 3 year drought in Texas ten years ago. Then a 55 square mile forest fire broke out and 1790 places burned down, including our cattle ranch. The cattle ran right through the fire line and were OK but there was nothing to feed them no pasture and the hay burned up. Had to sell all the cattle. The fire burned right through the horse corrals and burned their feet but they got well. People of the USA heard about this disaster and sent semi truck loads of hay, tack and horse supplies for months. Thats how we kept our horses. Finally 6 months later it rained. I feel sorry for those droughted people. Be sure to have your animal evacuation plan in case of fires.
 

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@Acadianartist You had 40C in Canada in June?! That is seriously scary.
Right?! Eastern Canada too! When I was a kid, no one I knew ever had air conditioning. It would have been stupid. 25C was a hot summer day. It rarely got above that. So yes, 40C in early June is madness. A big forest fire broke out near where my parents live. They're not at risk or anything, but conditions are so dry for June. Hoping this comes to an end soon with some good rain!
 

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Right?! Eastern Canada too! When I was a kid, no one I knew ever had air conditioning. It would have been stupid. 25C was a hot summer day. It rarely got above that. So yes, 40C in early June is madness. A big forest fire broke out near where my parents live. They're not at risk or anything, but conditions are so dry for June. Hoping this comes to an end soon with some good rain!
I wonder if it’s similar like Germany’s case. In medieval times it was much warmer and in the renaissance wines have been grown near Berlin that for decades now could only grow in Italy anymore because Germany was colder. Now Germany has almost the same summers it had 400 years ago.
Probably we don’t have That Information on Canada. I moved to Pennsylvania in 2018 and the winters are super cold and the summers super hot. Most houses don’t have air conditioning and I am glad we have it.
 
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