Hay Shortage Effects Local Farmers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Hay Shortage Effects Local Farmers

Hay Shortage Effects Local Farmers
By: Ryan Tate

Glen Birk has been farming on his own for the last 50 years, and farmed with his dad before that.  When he talks about the job, he has experience to back it up.

"It is the worst hay producing year I've ever had," Birk said.

The main menu item for local livestock is now hard to come by.  Normally, hay sells for $20-$30 a bail.  Now it is up to $60.

The hard freeze around Easter of this year, coupled with the drought conditions of August, damaged or destroyed the hay crop.

Birk says some farmers are bailing corn stalks to feed their cattle, but the cattle have a hard time digesting it.  It takes supplements in their diet to accomplish that.

Of course, that costs money.  University of Missouri Extension Livestock Specialist Roger Eakins says alternatives could cost the cattle farmer more than three times what it normally costs to feed livestock.

Eakins says a warm winter and an early spring will help local farmers.

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