A hay shortage means high costs for Oklahoma ranchers as winter approaches ( News Oklahoma )

Despite the recent drop in temperatures, many Oklahoma counties are already welcoming snow this month farmers and ranchers are feeling the effects of the drought.

In the late fall, cattle producers typically feed their cattle hay that they stockpiled throughout the year to feed their cows through the winter.

But due to the severe drought conditions of this year, crops like wheat and corn have dried up and the herds have dried up and are being fed. Extreme hot and dry conditions have brought heat to cattle herds and ranchers’ watersheds have dried up, a critical spot for livestock drinking.

“All people can have a little hay to harvest, but the fruit activity is reduced compared to what they used to graze in the winter,” said Dr. David Lalman, Oklahoma State beef specialist. Extension of the university.

Even if they stocked up on some grass, some frogs fed their cattle winter supply of hay with July. The cows not having enough food forced some ranchers to make tough decisions.

“A lot of running businesses have started selling their cattle inventory, some of their calves, because they don’t have anything to feed or stand to feed those cattle,” Lalman said.

They jumped on free hay this year. Brady Womack, market news officer for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, said factors such as drought, fertilizer costs, transportation costs and labor are all reflected in prices today.

Compared to November, Womack said the cost of medical bale hay in Oklahoma has gone down by 55% this year, and the price of hay bales has gone up by 88%.

“The hay supply is holding low, and we’re not even reaching winter,” Womack said. “That’s right, ask.” [for hay] will be higher, and thus keeps the price growing.’

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a 30-day notice; executive order regulations to temporarily suspend the transportation of bales of hay into the state at the beginning of October. Stitt’s order extends the width limit of commercial hay loads to make it easier for more loads to come into the state.

With colder weather approaching, Lalman said it’s very important for ranchers to have a winterization plan in place to keep their herd close to maintaining the number of cattle they can with what they have on hand. He adds that they are also different Or feed options livestock, but it is important for ranchers to remain mindful of the nutritional value of food.

“The customer wants to know happy, healthy and productive livestock,” said Lalman. “During these next few months we will be able to complete and become more certain, it is important that there will be a better quality of the product to be consumed.”

Lalman et al OSU Extension He shared that we are looking for other rancheras to buy hay;

  • How much does a bale of hay weigh? Pricing is based on tonnage or weight, not per bale.
  • How much protein does hay bale have? It is important to analyze the forage hay before buying it.
  • When was the hay in the pitchers? He may have a greater bounty of hay.
  • Where was the first bale meadow located? The grass cannot be removed fire ant endemic areas without proper care there are no ants to carry the fire in the designated ant areas without fire.
  • Where is the hay stored? in the barn or outside? On the ground or on the pallet?
  • How was the hay bale wrapped? Mesh wraps stay together better than those wrapped in string.

With low hay yields and high feed prices pushing farmers to sell large amounts of their cattle, consumers will have plenty of beef to tide them over for the future. that is, higher meat prices.

“A smaller calf crop means there are fewer animals going out to produce beef in the next year or two,” said Lalman.

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