Less rain has reduced the acres of oats, barley and wheat being planted, which has fueled a sharp jump in hay prices, the Press-Democrat of Santa Rosa reported Tuesday.
The drought has also led to a decline in grazing land, further increasing the demand for hay and driving up prices.
Tracy Underwood of the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center said she pays more than $20 for a bale of hay these days. A decade ago, the cost was about $9. Underwood said she’s growing her own fodder to cut costs.
“I’m saving $200 a day on hay costs,” she said.
West Santa Rosa dairyman Doug Beretta said he recently sold 40 milk cows to a dairy in Idaho to offset the rising cost of hay.
When grazing land is available, he needs about $10,000 worth of hay every 20 days for his milk cows. When it’s not, he goes through a load every 10 days at a cost of about $30,000 a month.
“It cuts into your profitability,” he said.
The drought is now in its third year.
MORE HBJ HEADLINES
Short-term market drop likely following Paris terror 12:45 p.m. Automakers ditch spare tires in more new car models Hershey kisses artificial flavors goodbye in some treats New rules to prevent illness outbreaks from produce Moscow bans Egyptian carrier from flying to Russia Lufthansa cancels 941 flights due to strike
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.