Hay Shortage - Total Disaster

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Hay Shortage - Total Disaster

Postby pukkapony » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:55 pm

Ok, hay is predicted to rise up to as much as £6 per bale this winter, which is something we cant do much about so I think those of us who are afftected will just have to grin & bear it.

My problem is I cant get any hay!!!! I have tried 8 independant advertising suppliers, all of whom are totally out of hay or only have hay that is very very low quality.

Does anyone know anyone in the south east that supplies hay & that can deliver? I have about a weeks worth of hay left and no one that I know of that I can get hay from. (Starting to panic!)

I could possibly collect a few bales at a time that will hopefully tide me over but with the predicted (up to 25cm of) snow that is heading my way I dont even know if I can get out to collect a few bales at a time regardless!

Any help would be great.... PLEASE!

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Re: Hay Shortage - Total Disaster

Postby Kate_H&R_AssistantEd » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:29 pm


Try not to panic, although it seems scary there is always an alternative.

The problem started last winter, with the season being a particularly long and cold one. Usually – especially in the last few years – we have fairly mild winters, so the grass continues to grow, giving it a bit of a head start going into the spring months. However, throughout the cold period, nothing was able to grow, so the hay-growing trade began the year at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, we then suffered a drought, which hindered hay growth further, causing the shortages we’re experiencing now.

But the lack of hay growth isn’t the only reason for the hay shortage. Because last winter was so bad, we fed our horses more hay, using up the supplies. This meant that there was no carry-over stock for the early part of this year. Therefore, the need for a good hay yield this year was even more vital, but because that hasn’t happened, it is likely that there won’t be any carry-over stock at the end of this year either.
Also, to add to the problem, the drought has meant that there is less grass in our horses’ paddocks, so many of us are finding that we need to feed more hay during the summer than we usually would, using up even more of the supplies. This lack of carry-over stock is likely to increase the cost of hay for the next couple of years.

It’s not all bad news, however. Although less hay has been made this year, most of it is of very good quality. And there is still time for the weather to change in our favour. Good hay-growing conditions at the end of the summer could allow time for more hay to be made, particularly in the case of haylage, which can be made a little later than hay. Also, if we have a good autumn, it will mean that we can leave our horses out grazing later, which will help to preserve the winter hay stores.

For the alternatives to feeding hay, check out the October issue of H&R on sale today!

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