Hay shortage causes some East Texans to settle for lower quality, and higher prices

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

EAST TEXAS (KTRE)- With extreme weather conditons, and the rising cost of fertilizer and equipment, many East Texans in need of hay, say you can't find it anywhere. They say when it's available, you better be willing to pay a hefty price.

"I had ordered enough hay to get me through the winter but August was so wet that it literally rotted in the field," said owner of Cowboy and the Princess Ranch Denise Wilson.

Last year East Texans saw one weather extreme transform into another.

It started off exceptionally dry than we went from exceptionally dry to exceptionally wet," said local hay producer Andy Jarvis.

Which means less hay, for lower quality, and you better be willing to pay the price.

"Sometimes you compromise on the quality when you can't find the hay that you want and you just think I'll take anything I can get," said Wilson.

With eighteen horses to feed, she can't take that chance.

"It's better to pay a little bit more a bail than a vet bill if my horse gets colic and i have other folks horses here so i have a responsibility."

Jarvis says he's already sold more hay than he could afford to sell in order to have enough to feed his own cattle.

"I was forced to have to buy hay. Something I've never done at all."

It's a scramble for many East Texans. Wilson says, a reliable source is the best way to find quality hay at a reasonable price.

"Someone that you trust that you know their hay. You know it's been fertilized, you know there's not a lot of garbage in it."

The importance of hay, is causing several East Texans to keep an open mind and an open wallet.

Jarvis says with a huge demand for hay, and not enough supply, he expects an extreme increase in the interest of people trying to produce their own hay.

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