Most horse owners begin stocking up on hay toward the end of summer. If you’ve already begun your stockpile, then you might have run into some issues. This year is going to be particularly difficult in certain areas. There’s a major hay shortage!

Between flooding and droughts, farmers haven’t had it easy this year. You might experience higher prices and more competition among buyers. Follow this advice to ensure you have enough this winter.

Hay Shortage Tips

1. Use your hay wisely: Invest in a slow feeder net, which can reduce waste and slow down a quick eater. Furthermore, purchase high-quality forage. This will help you meet your horse’s nutritional requirements more easily.

2. Buy sooner: Beat the rush by purchasing earlier in the season. Don’t wait till the last minute when everyone is desperate.

3. Increase grazing time: With proper field management, you may have access to grass for a longer period of time. Practice rotational grazing for good pasture quality.

4. Supplement with alternatives: You can make your hay supply last longer by using bagged pellets and chopped or cubed hay.

5. Commercial products: There’s sources of fiber like hay stretcher pellets that can replace part of your horse’s hay diet. This helps to lower the number of bales you’ll need, but be warned it’s expensive.

The best thing you can do is prepare ahead of time. How will you handle this year’s crisis? Make sure you are ready!