Paying For 2nd Cut Hay

Paying For 2nd Cut Hay

Paying For 2nd Cut Hay

This winter hay has been scarce and unbelievably expensive.
At present we are paying $4-$5 a piece for 2nd cut square bales.
The drought last summer here in western Pennsylvania prevented people from putting up as much hay as they normally would have.

Farmers started running out of hay last month and we ran out of hay a couple of weeks ago. We will be feeding bought hay until the grass comes on again – usually towards the end of April.
Hay is so scarce here that some farmers are only feeding their cattle every other day.
It’s making for hungry cows.


Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. But for the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed. 


  5 comments for “Paying For 2nd Cut Hay

  1. Renee
    March 14, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I would be thrilled to be paying only $4-5 a bale (for a 50# square bale). Here in lower, western Michigan, they are charging anywhere from $7.50 for a grass mix or timothy to $10 a bale for mostly alfalfa. I am just praying we don’t have another drought summer because I can’t be paying those prices two years in a row. Have you looked into the hydroponic fodder systems? Expensive to set up (if you go with a commercial type) but seems like a very economical way to provide fresh grass to your livestock year round (using sprouted barley grass mats).

  2. KMG
    March 14, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I never heard of a hydroponic fodder system.It probably wouldn’t work economically for us, but I sure would like to learn more about it. Thanks! :-)

  3. Cathy Geary
    March 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    oh my we have got $6 a bale for wire tied alfalfa for a couple of years. Two years ago a cousin was paying up to $30 a bale in Colorado. You are getting a good buy.

  4. Shawna
    March 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    We are also exploring a fodder system. I believe they are electricity dependent though. However, here is NOrthern California, grass hay is $240 a ton, and alfalfa $300 plus a ton.

  5. Lisa
    March 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Here in southern Michigan we’re having the same problem. Farmers and small livestock owners have run out of hay and are desparately looking for hay. What’s being sold from last year at the hay sales today are going from 6.00 dollars and up a bale. A lot of that hay isn’t that good either. We paid 8.00 a bale for a 55 pound square grass bale last year and in neighboring towns it was up to 12.50 a bale. It’s looking like we’re still in a “abnormally dry” time for winter which shows on the US Drought Map. Kind of scary I have to say. We ended up only buying half of what we usually get yearly because of the cost and availability. Thank God we had hay left over from the previous year that was still very good. I’ve always made a point to buy more if we were able to and I’m glad that we did. I hope we get some decent spring rains to help with the drought that we were in last year. As of now, it’s not looking too good. Not much snow to speak of and spring is just about here in these parts. Northern Michigan has fared better this winter. There was a gentleman who came into our small town last year with a huge transport trailer to try to buy hay for his horses and neighbors of his out in Colorado where he lived. Hay was being sold for 20 dollars and up a bale for a regular square sized bale. Lots of owners dumping their horses and other livestock because hay not being available or they can’t afford it. It breaks my heart! I hope things will be better for everyone this spring and summer.

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