Farmers and ranchers in Texoma are paying a large price for hay. It's even forcing some to sell off cattle and horses. We spoke with several horse owners who said they're used to paying about $30 to $40 or upwards of $60 a bale.
On Craigslist we found a post for hay in Wichita County for $125 up to $150 per bale.
On 220 acres of land Bruce Smith has 39 horses and 12 donkeys roaming the dry area. He chooses to take in the horses to prevent them from going to a horse slaughter factory. Many of the animals that came in malnourished are slowly eating their way to a healthy lifestyle,
at the high cost of his wallet.
"We never up until last year paid more than $60 for hay," he said.
Now he's paying double.
"We've been paying $100 mostly this year but now it's already $120," said Smith. "The $100 hay is pretty dead, dried out."
The hay that sits across his property will be devoured in a matter of days.
"They're eating about a bale and a quarter of a bale a day."
Fred Hall, Wichita County Extension Agent reports the biggest rise in hay prices is when people purchase it by bales, but when its bought by tons it's about $5 higher.
"Supreme alfalfa is in the $280 to $330 range."
Fred said many horse and cattle owners are getting by with what they have and they're not stocking up. He suggests they start doing so because if we don't get rain we'll start seeing even more expensive hay.
Bruce Smith estimates he spends about $500 to $600 a week feeding his horses. With little rain in sight he knows another trip out of the state may be near.
Last year he went to Alabama to pick up hay and hauled it right back to his home. We also spoke with another horse owner who traveled Tuesday to Louisiana to buy hay for about $35 a bale.