Continued extreme drought conditions could lead to hay shortages

Hay bales
Hay bales(kfyr)
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Extended drought conditions could lead to a hay shortage for ranchers.

That, in turn, could force them to sell off cattle to spread out what feed they have.

Beulah rancher Casey Voigt says he isn’t experiencing a shortage yet, but his supply is being reduced, and with the drier conditions, it looks like it might become more of a problem.

Hay is used to feed cows, and when there’s not enough to go around, worries arise.

“Not only do we run into concerns with the quantity of hay supply but also the quality to meet their intake requirements,” said Voigt.

This is the second time North Dakota ranchers are facing extreme drought in five years, and Voigt says he’s still feeling the impact of past droughts.

“What 2017 did is it depleted our Hay supplies, so we were down to zero, and then with the dry conditions that have continued since then, we haven’t been able to replenish our hay supply’s,” said Voigt.

To make do with the feed supply they have, Voigt says, ranchers will supplement it with grain or with protein to get by with fewer inputs.

“That will stretch the hay supply, but it’s not enough to get us through if we don’t get enough moisture soon,” said Voigt.

Voigt says what the ground needs are some timely rains to produce pastures he can turn his herd onto.

Voigt says while his hay supply is short, he believes they can feed the cows long enough to get them to some grass, but after that, it’s all up to the rain.

Copyright 2021 KFYR. All rights reserved.