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Price Of Hay Is Making The Year Hard On Farmers

By: Jeff Gould Email
By: Jeff Gould Email

We'll it's not the winter weather making things difficult for Kentucky farmers this year it's the price of winter hay.

At a farm in Laurel County the season started with one of the best hay crops ever, but a sudden change in the weather late last year and the ongoing drought are making this year one of the worst many farmers can remember.

“It was just doing great, and the next thing we had three days of below freezing weather, and it just laid it down,” Doug Day said.

Day says he's been farming for more than 60 years, and he can't remember the crops ever being this bad.

“A 30 acre field usually makes 30 rows...it made eight rows,” Day said.

At Doug Day's farm, he says he could run out of hay early this year. That would force him to buy hay from out of state, which could quadruple his costs.

“You buy a $20 roll of hay in Oklahoma and you get it in here and it's costing you $80 by the time you get it unloaded,” Glenn Williams said.

It's not just hay. With wells and creeks running dry some farmers also have to truck in water just to keep their livestock alive.

“The trucking, the freight, the fuel costs are so high, that getting it in here, the freight's actually costing more than the hay,” Williams said.

A cost that for some young farmers is just too much, causing some to turn away from Farming for good.

Some farmers are also relying on alternative sources of feed, like grain, just to get their livestock through the winter.


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