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Floods could cause hay prices to spike

Walt Hubis
Flickr - Creative Commons

The floods in Colorado could cause a spike in hay prices, which could be good and bad news for Wyoming ranchers.

Many Colorado ranchers lost their season’s hay supply in the deluges that swept across the eastern plains.  And that means many Colorado ranchers will likely turn to Wyoming hay producers to feed their livestock through the winter, if they have livestock left to feed.

Brett Moline with the Wyoming Farm Bureau says this might cause the price of hay to rise on the market.

“If a lot of the hay in Colorado was ruined, for the people in Wyoming selling hay, that still have hay left for sale, it’s going to help them out because the demand is probably going to go up.”  

But Moline says Wyoming ranchers who need to buy feed for their own livestock may be hurt by the high cost of hay this year since it means they will have to pay the more expensive cost of hay themselves.  

Luckily, most Wyoming ranchers fared well in the unseasonable storms with few losses to crops or livestock.  Most ranchers had wrapped up their hay harvest for the season when the storm hit, or were just completing their second cutting. 

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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