I’ve been watching the drought in Texas and the southeast portion of the United States, just as most people have been. It was sad to see a video of many farmers and ranchers selling off their livestock because of a lack of pasture or grain, and now even the water supply.

And then the other day, I was looking at the Farm and Dairy from 25 years ago — Guess what? A similar event was taking place. The south was without hay and the north was trucking it to farms to help them get through it.

Fast forward to the present day. Whole cattle herds are being taken to the auction barns and sold off for sometimes pennies on the dollar. And the record-breaking number of days with triple digit highs does not appear to be going any where any time soon — that could mean more cattle and livestock up for sale or sent to the processing plant.

In the South, hay is going for prices that can’t hardly be imagined. But unfortunately, due to the weather we’ve had, second and third cutting is also going for a high price.

An owner of feed store in Texas told the Statesman newspaper in Texas that he is selling square bales of hay for between $7.50 to $9.75 a piece. And if you can find a round bale of hay, it will sell between $100 and $125.

I checked the Farm and Dairy for some hay prices and found some first cutting for $1.25 and up to $5.50 a bale for second and third cutting. Those prices are a long way from what Texas producers are paying.

I just hope we don’t end up having to pay that kind of price for hay in the future or that our meat prices don’t increase dramatically because of it.

I think the next time I start to complain or hear someone else complain about the weather we’ve had this summer, the work involved in making hay or the price of it, I’ll remind them it could be so much worse — we could have no hay to bale or be forced to sell livestock.

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses with her husband, Kurt. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism.
Kristy Foster Seachrist
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