In this file:


·         Hay shortage in the Midwest

·         Farmers help each other with hay donations



Hay shortage in the Midwest


By Scott Engen, KSFY-TV (SD)

Jun 05, 2019


This spring has been tough for many farmers because of flooding.


Now the latest setback is a shortage of hay, an essential part of the diet for dairy and stock cows.


Cattle need alfalfa, found in hay, for protein and to produce high quality milk. They also digest it very well.


This year's hay supply is down 31.4% from the past five year's average.


"Our supply is depleted and our first crop isn't looking to good, in some areas its 100% winter kill, and they have absolutely no alfalfa," Steve Ollerich, President of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, said.


Farmers should be able to get out this month to harvest their first cuts of alfalfa, but...


more, including video report [2:34 min.]



Farmers help each other with hay donations


By Kenton Brooks, Muskogee Phoenix (OK)

June 6, 2019


Jim Bolene watched as Rowdy Fewel slowly placed another hay bale in place on the back of Bolene’s truck.


Bolene, a rancher in Porter, knows every little bit helps as he tries to recover from the flooding. He estimates 95 percent of his ranch “was under water.”


The hay is being used to feed his 222 cows and calves, because the grass they normally graze on is just too wet.


“We had water 12 feet deep,” Bolene said. “We have a barn that’s never flooded before and it’s almost completely underneath water. The water came up so quick that we were able to get half of our equipment out. We were not able to get out the other half.


“I had 200 hay bales that floated out to the other end of the barn. I have no idea where they’re at now. It’s a tough situation.”


That’s when Fewel, the vice president of the Muskogee County Cattlemen’s Association, jumped into action. They, along with the Wagoner County Cattlemen’s Association, are working together to help ranchers and farmers in the two counties to recover from the flooding.


“The need for hay is important,” said Fewel, a fourth generation rancher. “If you had 160 acres and cattle are eating grass at this time of the year and if the water comes up and covers half of your acres, they’re not able to graze. Cattle are the creatures of habit. If the water is on the grass, they’re not going to eat it.


“Now you have to start feeding them hay in June, which is six months earlier than when you start feeding them.”


That’s why Fewel has been working hard to receive donations for hay as well as donating hay. Social media has helped with farmers as far as close as Coalgate and McLoud and as far away as Ohio, Nebraska and Louisiana, who have contacted him to offer their hay and help.


“We had two ranchers who were 65 to 70 years old come from Coalgate (on Monday night),” he said. “They took it upon themselves to unload two trailer loads of hay and were back on the road at 7:30 p.m.”


Fewel said the farmers and ranches are the forgotten people in the flooding...