Someone must have been wishing pretty hard for a white Christmas around my area because we were surprised with 5 in. of snow earlier this week. Our cows had been happily grazing in a cornfield about a mile from home, and we were hauling water every day since there aren’t any stock dams nearby. But the snow and cold front forced us to bring the herd home early.
So, yesterday, my family headed out with four-wheelers and pickups to round up the herd and head them down the road. And, although we now have to feed hay and chop ice, I suppose we should feel blessed about the much-needed moisture we’ve received, and that we were able to graze affordable cornstalks so late into the year.
See a photo gallery of moving cows home here.
Cattle feed and hay prices are going to be a major factor for folks through the coming winter months.
According to KPC News, “There have been numerous effects from the 2012 drought and one of those has been on the supply and price of hay. Everyone who buys or sells hay knows that hay prices dramatically changed in 2012. Most reports say hay is selling for two to five times more than it did in 2011. The reason the price is so high is because the supply is so low.
“Jerry Lindquist, Michigan State Extension grazing and crop management educator, says that, in his 21 years of operating the Michigan Hay Sellers List, this is the smallest amount of hay ever offered. The culprit is the 2012 drought, which reduced hay supplies by 15-30% across the Midwest. Compound that with fewer hay acres available overall, and it is easy to understand that there is very little hay still left for sale. With the strong demand and low supply, Lindquist would estimate that 85% of the 2012 hay crop to be sold is already gone.”
How are weather conditions in your neck of the woods? Are you feeding hay to your cows already? How’s your stockpile going to hold up if this drought continues? Or, if you’re buying hay, what are the prices for this common cattle feed?
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