Recently TheHorse.com spoke with Daniel McEvoy, PhD, who is an assistant research professor in climatology at the Western Regional Climate Center, in Reno, Nevada. The subject was purchasing hay during the current severe drought in the western U.S.
In addition to the current drought, factors including gas prices, supply chain shortages & delays, and basic supply cost increases all affect the overall cost of hay. Add to those factors an increase in horse ownership and relocation trend toward rural areas, and supply surpasses demand.
Industry experts as well as hay farmers suggest purchasing winter hay early and stock up now before the end of the summer. This is especially relevant as this summer is hotter than average, with below-normal rainfall amounts expected, according to McEvoy. Because hay producers try to avoid storing their supply, the earlier hay is purchased, the better price can be negotiated.
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