I JUST PAID $21.49 (plus 7.5% sales tax = $1.61) FOR A BALE OF ORCHARD GRASS! What do you pay?!






I am a bit sick to my stomach right now…  I just paid $23.10 for one bale of Orchard grass.

ONE BALE.  A 95lbs bale at that.

Sheesh.

It costs me double now to feed my horses as it did 5 years ago.

You can see why there is such a crisis for California horses who are being dumped right and left.  People didn’t intentionally end up with too many horses to feed… the prices simply got way out of hand and there is no one stopping it.

I used to purchase 80 bales at a time.  Now, I cannot get any grower to sell small amounts like 80 bales - so I have to go to regular feed stores where one bale of Orchard grass is $23.10.  No wonder California horses are in crisis and sent to feedlots.

I used to purchase 80 bales at a time. Now, I cannot get any grower to sell small amounts like 80 bales because the growers are either growing subsidized corn or sending their entire harvest to Japan.  – so I have to go to regular feed stores where one bale of Orchard grass is $23.10. No wonder California horses are in crisis and sent to feedlots.

 

WHY?

It isn’t the water crisis.

If you ask any grower, they will tell you two things:

1)  The government will pay them to grow corn for ethanol.

2)  They can ship all of their hay over to Japan in one load, for premium prices.  So, they only have to make one sale and its done for the year.

WHY ISN’T THE MARKET READJUSTING?

Because gas prices are so high.

If gas prices were lower, growers from out of state would bring it in and sell it on the street corner for a killing!

Hay is so expensive, it is like a controlled substance.

Hay is so expensive, it is like a controlled substance.

ISN’T THERE ANY WAY TO KEEP THE HAY IN THIS COUNTRY – FEEDING ALL THE STOCK IN CA?

Dunno.  The only way the market readjusts is through competition or intervention.  Because gas prices are so high, there is no competition.

Is it possible to put hay on a rail car and get it out here?  I have no idea.  But, if anyone could get large quantities of hay out to a rural train yard in California (Auburn, Sacramento), trucks would line up far and wide to buy.

For sure.

I’d be first in line.

ANY IDEAS OUT THERE?

We need good, affordable hay in CA!

We need good, affordable hay in CA!


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10 comments have been posted...

  1. Mary

    I have 80 acres, of which 50 is planted in brome grass. Basically I grow my own…course my issue is, No tractor. Got the mower, rake, and baler…talk about putting the cart before the horse. We bale 65 lb square bales and I sell them for $4,50 – $5.00, depending on what it costs me to get it baled.

  2. Candace Robinson

    Orchard grass in Phx. Az. Is $28 a bale before tax. Alf is $16 and Bermuda $16.

  3. Pam

    In southeast New Mexico, a local farmer is selling last year’s alfalfa for $11/bale. Wheat hay is $9/bale. He doesn’t sell grass hay so we just had hay delivered from Albuquerque at $15/bale for last year’s grass hay from CO. All bales are the 2 strand size, maybe 50 pounds maximum.
    A local livestock store sold the 3 strand, 100 pound bales of coastal for around $20 in March. Not sure what the price is now.

  4. Deb Hamilton

    We pay here an average 6.50 a bale, I am picking up 1st cut at 5.00 a bale and 3rd cut at 6.00 a bale. This would be in NH. I think its a travesty that it cost that much, I wouldn’t be able to afford my horses for that. I can get almost 5 bales to your one.

  5. Penny Sinclair

    We sell good mixed grass horse hay for $3.00 for a 40 pound square bail. We live in southeastern Ohio. A small round bale of orchard grass is $20. Large bail is $30.

  6. michelle

    I just paid $670 for 25 bales . That included tax and $35 delivery. I work at an animal shelter and we received seized horses that are thin (ones and twos on the Henneke scale). Some people dump on BLM land, or they don’t dump, they just stop feeding. Too sad. I have the talk with my husband each time I have to order hay–do we rehome some of the gang, or do I just do more freelancing and ebay to pay for their feed? I keep working to keep them, but some will outlive me, and maybe it IS time to rehome those guys.

  7. Judy Gillispie

    Share your pain. Live in SW coastal Oregon. Three years ago grass hay went for $13.60 p/bale. Last week it was $22.29. and can’t even get grass hay anymore, just grass/alphfa mix…not as good for our crew. Our hay guy gets it from the Klammath Falls area, big growing area. He has trouble finding what he needs. Only good news is he delivers 32 bales bi-monthly and stacks it. And it will just get worse.

  8. MET

    Our best hay comes from Eastern Washington (more nutritious than Western Washington hay). They have been shipping big loads to Japan for many years. Plus we had a big fire in a prime hay growing region in E. Washington a couple of years ago which seriously damaged some of the hay fields, they’re still recovering. I don’t know how much a bale costs because I board – but I know buying one bale at a time can cost well over $20, for soft, leafy hay.

    Don’t know the answer – my horse eats mostly mash (pellets and some cubes) because he’s old and his teeth are shot. As an aside, most people I know don’t like orchard grass for their horses but prefer Timothy – orchard seems to cause some horses a lot of problems, digestive and otherwise – my horse can’t eat it, causes squirts and also some behavior changes. But some do just fine with it.

  9. Joni

    I’m in Florida and a round bale is $75. It’s probably more than 95lb though, but I don’t buy it because I only have two horses and a sheep. I buy coastal by the bale and it’s $7.75. Alfalfa is $25/bale and peanut is $14.00. The mixed grasses such as orchard/alfalfa and timothy/alfalfa are just under $25 also. Grain has gone up tremendously but I only feed a cup at a time so I can add ground flax, so at least my bag of grain goes a long way.

    Florida has the same problem of abandonment as do other states due to people not being able to afford to feed them. My farrier says it’s appalling how many of his clients are dumping horses to rescue and auctions. Less scrupulous people are just not feeding so many are taken by AC. South Florida has a huge problem with people killing them for the meat. I struggle to feed mine but they’re fat and healthy and they’ll eat before I eat because they are my responsibility.

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