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After 2 years of record breaking drought and wildfires that devastated the grazing and feed crop areas in the western states, the nation is facing severe feed shortages this winter.
A plea for emergency declaration has been drafted by the governors of the western states. With some luck this will release funds from existing programs for farmers and ranchers.

Creative feeding may become the norm for small producers who wish to keep their livestock.

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I am very worried about the hay shortage . I can’t store more then 50 bales at a time. Hay has gone up 3x this month. I go thru a bale evey day and a half now..It’s very scary thinking about winter.
I have 22 keeper goats, 2 boarding until spring, 1 doeling for sale and a few young kids. Plus my mare.
 

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Part of the reason I am checking the girls is because this year is NOT the year to mess around. I knew this was coming and thought I bought enough hay to last 6 months. They are not even heavy bred yet and there’s no way it’s going to last that long. But I will seriously go around and weed eat along roads and cut tree limbs down so they will eat. I see in the orchards leaves are falling and I am debating on asking them if I can take the leaves up and take home. One way or the other though they will be fed.
 

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I'm watching you
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I put 10 bags of grass screening pellets and am working on 10 bags of alfalfa pellets in the workshop just in case.
Luckily my herd is used to eating pellets. There's a big patch of English ivy that needs cut out anyway and a few other evergreens. I should go put tarps under the maple and ash trees to catch the leaves as well.
Going pumpkin hunting soon too.
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this drought this year. We are very fortunate this year to be blessed with a very mild year with an abundance of hay. As a matter of fact, Craigslist is full of people trying to sell hay. 2011 was our bad drought year. Many folks were shipping hay in from out of state, some sold all the livestock they had, and the rest of us managed with what we had. I hope you are able to get some relief soon.
 

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Not only this shortage but have you looked at seed prices? In NC they have went up 200% for farmers. How is a small farmer or small row cropper supposed to do that and make any profit?!?!!! Suppliers are saying that by spring it will increase even more. A few of our friends do row crops and they have been hard pressed ordering their seed for next year already. The prices of their crops went down and seed up. It is nuts!
 

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Wish I could load up a couple of semis with our good hay and ship it to you all. The neighbors up the road baled again yesterday
Would you please? 😆

The place I usually get my hay from is owned by a cattle rancher who lives out of state. This year he decided to stop growing grass hay, even though they were selling as much grass hay as they were alfalfa. So I started getting my grass hay at another place the next town over, but they kept raising their prices every 2-3 trips in. Recently they raised it to $26 a bale and I just can't keep up with that, so I've found a third place even further away that I just got a second load of hay from. They seem alright so far, and we'll see if they keep their prices steady. If they start raising them like the last place I'll have to start getting creative. I'm trying to build a nice performance herd, but feed costs are just through the roof, and goats aren't selling well even after I take the extra effort and expense to earn their milk stars and get them appraised. I can't buy a 2 month old kid for less than $500 nowadays, but no one wants to pay $600 for a 3 year-old with a 4*M and an appraisal score of 89.
 

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Would you please? 😆

The place I usually get my hay from is owned by a cattle rancher who lives out of state. This year he decided to stop growing grass hay, even though they were selling as much grass hay as they were alfalfa. So I started getting my grass hay at another place the next town over, but they kept raising their prices every 2-3 trips in. Recently they raised it to $26 a bale and I just can't keep up with that, so I've found a third place even further away that I just got a second load of hay from. They seem alright so far, and we'll see if they keep their prices steady. If they start raising them like the last place I'll have to start getting creative. I'm trying to build a nice performance herd, but feed costs are just through the roof, and goats aren't selling well even after I take the extra effort and expense to earn their milk stars and get them appraised. I can't buy a 2 month old kid for less than $500 nowadays, but no one wants to pay $600 for a 3 year-old with a 4*M and an appraisal score of 89.
My brother is a truck driver, but he doesn't have his own rig. Otherwise, I'd ask him.
 

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I knew this was coming. So we fenced 4 acres of brush. We also are able to clear lots of areas of brush (11.5 acres, a lot with brush still) and haul to the goats if need be. We're trying to stock some extra hay and keep our numbers down for a bit. If it gets too touch, we'll just have to let go of more and get down to just basics.
 

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There will be alot of animals going to sale come Jan or Feb. when the hay runs out. I am trying to figure out who to sell right now- I've sold all the chaff,
now I am down to the best ones. I was supposed to get 40 rounds, the guy said he'd call me. Never did, I found out he baled it too wet, didn't wrap it and it went
to mold and powder. Aggghh! Since I go thru a round bale a day- that 40 would have gotten me to April. (or May if super stingy!)
Ah, the joys of farming....... (said with utmost sarcasm).......
 
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