Madison
76° F
Light Rain
Light Rain
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
  • Edward Nero1

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Officers charged in Freddie Gray case

    Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero was found not guilty of all charges Monday, May 23, in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, Judge Barry Williams ruled after a bench trial. Nero is one of six officers tried in connection in the case and the second to be tried. Here is a closer look at the cases of six officers charged in Gray's death.

  • PHOTOS: Birds, birds, birds!

    Birdwatchers spotted a variety of the feathered critters on a hike in Lake Mills Saturday morning. Ed Hahn, education co-chair for the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology said some were common backyard birds and others were rare sights.

  • Mark Schilling

    PHOTOS: Badger Honor Flight brings 2,000th veteran to D.C.

    A plane headed from Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., Saturday had aboard its 2,000th veteran to visit the national memorial sites in the nation's capital.

    • The Badger Honor Flight is part of a national network that works to bring WWII and terminally ill veterans from any war to see the memorials that were erected in their honor.
    • Visit badgerhonorflight.org for more information.
Advertisement