Saturday, November 24, 2012
Cattle ranchers are looking for alternative ways to feed their animals this winter after one of the worst droughts in the nation's history cut hay production.
Hay supplies are tight and prices are high.
At Debbie and Duane Blythes ranch in the parched Flint Hills cattle are grazing on the leafy tops of turnips the couple planted for them after cutting their winter wheat.
Their hay production is down, so they are also chopping up failed crops of corn and milo for silage. The plan to also feed straw mixed with higher quality feeds or supplements.
Dairy-quality alfalfa hay is now selling for about $260 to $285 a ton, although prices can go as high as $300 a ton. Stock cow-quality hay is now averaging about $260 a ton.