Utah is among 12 states being asked to pitch in as Wisconsin seeks hay for an estimated 20,000 dairy farmers who could run out by spring, officials said Friday.
Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Howard Richards sent letters this month to Utah and 11 other states, said Dick Rodefeld, agency economist and drought-assistance coordinator.They are Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Washington and Wyoming, he said.
The Wisconsin dry hay harvest was off 45 percent in 1988, leaving feed in short supply for the state's 1.5 million dairy cows, Boughton said.
"The information they supplied me with is that the (Wisconsin) corn and hay crops were reduced about 50 percent statewide and these two crops accounted for about 7.5 million of their total 10.7 million crop acres in 1988," Boughton said.
The price for medium- and high-quality hay has doubled to $130 to $170 a ton, Rodefeld said. The highest hay quote he has heard so far is $228 a ton, he said.
A survey found that 20,000 Wisconsin dairy and livestock farmers projected they will either run out of forage, including hay, or all kinds of feed by May 1, Rodefeld said.