Madison
58° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Farmers see feed prices climb

Published On: Jan 29 2013 06:49:47 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 29 2013 06:54:11 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Some farmers are struggling to feed their animals as the price of hay continues to climb.

Tom Kunkel purchased 10 bales of bedding for his dairy farm in Cuba City.

"This is the first time I've bought any this year, but I know I'll need some, so I thought I'd better start looking," Kunkel said.

Kunkel and other farmers at a hay auction in Lafayette County tried to scoop up what they could as prices continue to rise.

"In the past, I've bought it for about $30 a barrel. It ain't out of line yet, but it's getting there," Kunkel said.

Mark Mayer, an agriculture agent with University of Wisconsin Extension, said the ongoing drought is leading to lower hay production.

"We're seeing our hay prices almost over double what was paid in 2012 January versus 2013, so the hay prices have double and almost tripled in this last year," Mayer said.

Mayer said farmers are mixing other things in with hay or using alternative feed to stretch their supply. He said many farmers came into winter with a quarter to a third less feed than normal, forcing them to reduce their herds.

"A lot of farmers are starting to call cattle or, in other words, they're getting rid of some of their low producing, their bottom producers that aren't profitable right now for buying feed," Mayer said.

Kunkel said the wheat straw he bought will last his farm about 40 days -- not long enough to get through the spring.

"I'm afraid that as the winter goes on and the piles diminish, it could be $60-$70 a barrel by spring. That's my fear," Kunkel said.

Mayer said the feed prices will likely be passed onto the consumer with a spike anywhere from 2 to 10 percent in the next few months.

Advertisement
  • Lindsay Lohan in court new

    David McNew/Reuters

    Worst celebrity drivers

    NBA star Dwight Howard's Florida driver's license has been suspended after he failed to pay a ticket for running a red light, Reuters reported. In turns out Howard was ticketed an astonishing 10 times for running red lights in the Orlando area, and received four speeding tickets, 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls and one citation for failing to change his address on his driver's license. Take a look at the worst celebrity drivers.

  • California fires night firefighters

    Noah Berger/Reuters

    Wildfires rage out of control in California

    Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by wildfires raging out of control in drought-stricken California. Thousands more are threatened.

  • Scotland independence crowd

    REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

    Celebs react to Scotland's independence vote

    Scots head to the polls today to vote on the future of their country. The outcome could end Scotland's 307-year union with England and Wales as Great Britain -- and see it launch into the world as an independent nation of some 5.3 million people. Take a look at celebrity (both Scottish and not) reactions to the referendum.

Advertisement