Hay supplies are short, producers should be cautious of hay scams
Short hay supplies and rising prices have resulted in an uptick in reported hay scams. Tony Hancock with the Missouri Department of Agriculture says, “Unfortunately, anytime there’s a bad situation, there are a small handful of folks out there that will take advantage of that.”
His advice for cattle producers? Proceed with caution. “We have some resources on our website at the Department of Agriculture, some tips for what to look for and how to deal with that,” he says. “If something seems fishy, then probably avoid it. Don’t get taken advantage of if it’s already a bad situation.”
Missouri’s Department of Agriculture houses a hay directory where producers can source hay from reputable sellers.
He tells Brownfield he recommends testing all hay being fed, but it’s even more important in times of drought. “Every bale of hay that you feed your cattle should be tested so you know the nutritional value you’re actually giving them,” he says. “We tell everybody, test it so you know what you’re feeding and test it so you know what you’re buying.”
Drought conditions can increase the risk of aflatoxin in corn grain and silage, and Hancock says producers should also have it tested before feeding. Corn containing less than 20 ppb aflatoxin is considered safe by the US Food and Drug administration in all animal feed. For more on the guidelines click HERE.