This Summer's hot dry weather took its toll on hay crops. With less of a supply and an increase in demand, prices have soared; as a result, many farms have struggled.
On an average year, horses graze off the grass in the pastures they walk in. With a lack of rain this Summer, grass turned to dust and horse owners were forced to dig into their supplies of hay, creating a strain on their pocketbooks. Unable to purchase hay for their horses, many people chose to part ways with their four-legged friends. Rescuing some of those horses, West Wind Stables Equine Rescue in Bellefontaine.
Now taking care of 18 horses, Suzie Holycross has plenty of mouths to feed, but with bales of hay nearly doubling in price, she has been forced to turn away dozens of horses because of cost.
Wade Morris is the manager of Steiner Stock Farm in Lima, which currently holds 100 horses. With so many mouths to feed, Wade purchases his hay by the ton and not by the bale. With a lack of rain in the region, hay prices are up and quality is down, leading Wade to look towards the West for his hay.
With Winter approaching and hay supplies running low for many farm owners, Suzie and Wade both say they will be looking at other forms of feed if necessary.
Horse owners may see some relief in the way of rainfall the next few days, which may lead to an improvement in hay crops and greener pastures.