Buying hay seems to have become a sporting event the past couple of years. Last year I was really behind the 8 ball and didn't get my hay out of the field like I normally do- was just too busy with work. So, I ended up paying $7/bale for brome 50# bales out of the barn. Meaning, I picked up the hay from their barn, brought it back and had a friend help me unload it in my barn. This year, I started looking for a hay source in April and I was hearing prices from 50 to 60# brome squares from $6 to $9/bale. Now, keep in mind we had a TON of rain and that was when it was pretty certain to be a bumper crop for hay. Lots of people were pretty upset at the price gauging. It's caused the price of boarding to go threw the roof. I found some brome hay for $5.25/bale for #50 bales getting it out of the field but despite him having newer equipment, it kept breaking down. So, then I went on the hunt for someone else and by some miracle found an older guy who had some super nice brome hay for $3/ for 50# bale so I bought way more than needed. He said I can buy from him next year and I plan to but I worry his age/ health makes that not a sure thing.
People didn't want to share who their hay source was because there was a drought last year and it caused hay shortages and consequently super high hay prices. I really worry that horses will go hungry over winter because people can't afford the hay. The only good thing is we have had green summers all summer long for the last 2 to 3 years which is highly unusual. Our pastures usually dry up July until late August, but not the last couple of years- so horses and livestock have plenty of natural grazing options.
Even though I got a super good deal this year on my hay, I get tired of cleaning up hay and I'm still reeling from last year's high prices.
I've learned that no amount of money can substitute for class.