Area Drought Impacting Price of Hay

12-1-05 - The price of hay is now going up on both sides of the Red River. It's another effect of the drought, and now there is a high demand and a shortened supply.

As the price of hay continuous to rise, producers and ranchers are digging deeper into their pockets everytime cows take a bite at the hay. But this could come back and bite you in the end.

All across Texoma, cows are grazing, but there is no wheat for them to eat. That's making ranchers fork over the big bucks just to get a bail. Since the hay supply is slim, some ranchers in the area are even selling off their cattle just to make a profit.

Allen Monk has been in the hay business since he was 17, and he says it is the worst he's seen it.

"If you'll look around there's no wheat pasture for the cattle," Monk said. "So people that were counting on wheat to offset the price of hay don't have that either. We are looking at for December 2005, there's no wheat, there's no hay, and their options are limited."

Hay normally runs around $30 to $40, but with the drought, hay producers are having to sell bails for $60 or $70. Even that is giving them very little profit.

Agriculture reports say that even if it rained now, short daylight hours and cool temperatures would allow very little growth of grass for grazing.