Wisconsin worried about shortage of hay

Wisconsin worried about shortage of hay

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Jul 16, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 17, 2013

HOWARD - A record low hay crop across the country is putting local horse stables in a pinch. Owners say a hike hay in prices is forcing them to take drastic measures to avoid going out of business.

Bethany Parins owns Northstar Equestrian stables in Howard. She's been closely monitoring how much hay she feeds her horse.

"It's definitely gone up double I mean some of its probably gone up even more than that," said Parins.

With prices of hay going up taking care of all the stable horses is getting to be a lot tougher.

"For us personally we raised board and we had to put into effect a hay surcharge to keep up with inflation rates with the hay," said Parins, talking about the changes they had to make as a result of the rising prices.

Experts at the UW-Extension office say these prices are a result of two poor growing seasons in a row, and relief may not be in sight any time soon.

"We also expect hay prices to stay high because nationally many of the western states are low on irrigation water," said Dan Undersander, an agronomist with UW-Extension.

These record high prices are forcing stable owners to take drastic new measures and some are even growing their own hay.

"This is the first year we decided to get first cut out of it.  We weren't able to get a lot, but we probably got a month's worth of hay out of our back field," said Parins.

Parins said it's a good start, especially with the price of hay expected to rise again in the coming months.