Drought creates demand for local hay

Published 1:04 am Saturday, December 10, 2016

While farmers across the state are struggling to find hay to feed their livestock, one local farmer is counting his blessings.

Bill Godwin said he had about 400 rolls of extra hay and 4,000 square bales.

“We put it on the Alfa website,” he said.

So far, he’s sold some 250 rolls of hay.

“We sent two loads to Collinsville and we are going to send two more,” he said. “There is no hay north of Montgomery.

Collinsville is located in southern DeKalb County in northeast Alabama, where they are currently experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Godwin said that an auctioneer at a cow sale, who is from Hurtsboro in Russell County wanted to buy 50 rolls.

Russell County is also experiencing extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Godwin said they also have sold 50 rolls to a lady between Wing and Baker.

“We have plenty for us and plenty for sale,” Godwin said. “And it’s good quality. We fertilized ours all year long and that really helped us.”

Godwin said they were able to get in four hay cuttings this year.

“We kept cutting hay until the middle of November,” he said.

County Extension Coordinator Chuck Simon previously agreed with Godwin’s statement.

“Hay is in short supply,” he said. “We have people from North Alabama calling and looking for hay. The farmers I know got one more cutting of hay, but if they were hoping to get another one after the drought set in, they probably didn’t get it. I, personally, haven’t heard of any of them saying they don’t have enough hay.”

Godwin said he is thankful that the drought came in the fall rather than in May or June.

“It let us make a crop,” he said.

Thanks to rains, statewide, 20.57 percent of the state is facing exceptional drought conditions. That number is down from last week’s 32.75 percent.

This week, 73.26 percent of the state is facing at least extreme drought conditions. That number is down from 96.51 percent last week.

The entire state is under at least severe drought conditions.