Potential Hay Shortage

Due to the heavy rains the Midwest experienced in late spring and most of the summer, there is a good chance that livestock and dairy farmers will be hunting for hay in the near future. The continuous rain made it hard to get the hay mowed, dried out, and baled. Livestock farmers need a hay supply large enough to feed their herd through the winter months. These farmers had some cooperative weather in late July and August to bale hay, but will more than likely not be enough for the fast approaching winter. With this becoming more of an issue, they will be looking to purchase hay to gain the supply they need.

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With livestock farmers having to buy hay, this could cause a raise in prices in beef and dairy products. Purchased hay will raise the farmers input costs, and in turn raise the price of the sold goods to consumers. Being both a livestock owner and hay producer, the supply and demand of hay this coming winter will put a strain on farms that do not produce their own hay. This could not only impact their wallets but also their hay quality.

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I am Austin Tarter, a senior at Western Illinois University. I am majoring in Agriculture Business with a minor in Agronomy. My family farm consists of corn and soybeans, as well as 15 cattle. We also run a family owned fertilizer business. I am passionate about agriculture and the preservation of its heritage.

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