Hay production isn’t great in southwest MO

A cattle producer in southwest Missouri says fescue is making about half of the tonnage of a normal year.

Adam Whitesell from Dade and Greene Counties has been baling hay in the last week and says the weather extremes are confusing the forage.

“In September and October, we didn’t hardly get any rain. Then, we started getting rain in late October and November and we didn’t get much snow in the winter. March was ok, but it was an April I’ve never seen before. We didn’t get any rain in April.”

Whitesell also has alfalfa and orchard grass. He tells Brownfield both crops are doing the same as the fescue. He is also growing sorghum sudangrass.

“It’s not cheap to raise and you have to feed it, but we can run more cattle on fewer acres, because we have sudan we can supplement heavily in the winter. In a good year, you can get several tons off of two to three cuttings.”

He says hay is in high demand for livestock producers and the market is expected to stay strong due to the tight supplies.

“We usually carry over enough dry hay for a whole year and we’ve pretty well used it all up last year so everyone is scrambling to catch up.”

Whitesell says he does not expect to produce a lot of extra hay to sell this year. 

Photo credit: Adam Whitesell

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