Purchasing forage for horses in a drought year
Michigan horse owners should purchase hay early this year to avoid high hay costs and hay shortages this winter.
This year Michigan is experiencing the same drought as many of our neighboring Midwest states. While most of Michigan is not in the critical red zone, the high heat and low moisture are negatively affecting our crops and pastures in many parts of the state. Meaning farmers and horse owners alike are feeding hay to livestock in mid-summer that we wouldn’t usually have to feed until mid-fall. On top of that, hay production will be lower this year for most of Michigan. Many dairy and cattle farms that usually sell hay will be keeping it to feed their own stock. Loss of corn and other crops will also drive grain prices higher. Waiting until you actually need hay will be risky as hay availability continues to decrease and feed prices rise.
Photo: Find out how your location is fairing this year by clicking on the state of Michigan on the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Photo: This year winter hay supplies are predicted to be low in availability and high in price.
To learn more visit the Hay Selection page from My Horse University.
Related Michigan State University (MSU) Extension News articles:
- Feeding different cuttings or species of hay to horses during drought
- Feeding round bales to horses during drought
- Stretching hay supplies for horses in a drought year
- MSU Extension’s Drought Resources