Producer says rain has provided some hope for hay crop, cattle herd
A Western Kansas farmer and cattle producer says recent rains may have provided enough relief to avoid selling off his cow/calf herd.
Chriss Tanner of Norton tells Brownfield hay supplies are extremely tight. “I am down to 90 bales left on the farm and when the hay is gone, it’s not financially advantageous to try and feed the cows through that. I’d be better off to liquidate the rest of the cows and then see what next year brings.”
He says the price for hay is the highest he’s ever seen. “A year ago, you could buy pretty good alfalfa for $150 a ton, and it’s going for $300 to $400 a ton now for hay that’s a year old.”
But, Tanner tells Brownfield, 3-5 inches of rain earlier this month greened up hayfields and saved his wheat crop. “At that time, the stage the wheat was in it, it wouldn’t have allowed for much grazing, and they couldn’t adjust it at that time to say, hey, it’s not going to amount to anything. Frankly it was so short it wouldn’t have fed the cows for long anyhow.”
He says his biggest concern is whether the region receives timely rains this summer to keep hay fields and pastures growing.