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Hay shortage hits Northern Michigan; weather, fertilizer prices are to blame

The weather this spring and summer is impacting hay.

The Federal Agricultural Statistics Agency says hay is at a 50-year low, and on top of the drought, high fertilizer prices are to blame.

Meadow Creek Ranch in Reed City grows various crops and hay and raises beef cattle. They say at the beginning of the summer, during the first cut, they only got 25% of what they normally get.


They usually don’t feed their cows hay in the summer, relying on grass, but the drought causes grass not to grow, forcing them to turn to hay early, at a time when the hay supply is already short.

Looking ahead, they plan on changing some things up for next year.

“We’re going to do some different fall application fertilizer to help the early spring growth. Then, for our own needs for the beef cattle, we’re going to put in some more Sudex again,” said Jack Thorton, Meadow Creek Ranch.

Meadow Creek Ranch says prices have also risen to about $10 more a bale, costing on average $85.

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