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  • Last modified 67 days ago (March 14, 2018)

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Farmers face hay shortages

Staff writer

With continuing dry weather conditions, county farmers are worried about running out of hay for their livestock. They have to feed hay longer than usual because lack of rain is keeping grass from growing.

Mark Harms of Lincolnville, who runs a large seedstock operation, is one of those.

“I’ve contacted the people we know in our business, and none have extra hay to sell,” he said. “They all have their own cattle to feed.”

Jason Backhus of Tampa, who farms with his father, Brad, said their hay supply is tight.

“We grind our hay and mix it into our silage, and that is helping us,” he said.

Stuart Penner of Hillsboro is a hay broker. He has been out of hay for a while and has not been able to fill all the requests of his regular customers.

“I get a lot of calls from other hay dealers wondering if I have any hay,” he said. “Brome grass and alfalfa will be hurting if we don’t get rain. A lot of people who have hay are keeping it because if they don’t need it this year, they may need it next year.”

Kansas ag magazines that generally run hay ads have been devoid of such for a while.

Alona Hedstrom of Lincolnville said one of the reasons hay is not available might be because a lot of hay was donated to ranchers in southern and southwestern Kansas who lost hay and grass in wildfires last summer.

“It’ll change again,” Penner said. “In three weeks farmers might be wishing it would stop so they can get their planting done.”

Last modified March 14, 2018

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