Ranchers Worry as Hay Supplies Dwindle

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS — A late freeze last year that cut into hay production and a wet spring this year that is extending the hay-feeding season has resulted in a tight supply of hay and rising prices.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that the average price for hay in Montana in April was $160 per ton. That’s a 61 percent increase from a year ago.

Montana ranchers say pastures aren’t cut off by snow as they were last year, but the pastures aren’t ready yet so hay is still being used.

Rancher Shane Chauvet near Big Sandy says ranchers need some moisture and some warm days.

Chauvet says he would usually be selling hay at this time but he’s holding onto what he has left.

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