AMES, Iowa – Dry conditions and extreme heat have slowed the growth of hay and straw in some parts of the state. If you’re short on supply, consider finding a seller through the free hay and straw directory offered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
More than 70 farms and farm companies are listed as selling hay and/or straw across the state, with details about the crop, as well as information about delivery, custom baling and hay grinding services.
Farmers who are interested in selling hay or straw can add their information, and are encouraged to update their listing regularly so it will be up-to-date. The directory is featured in the July-August edition of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Acreage Living Newsletter.
Sixty percent of the state is abnormally dry, according to the Aug. 4 U.S. Drought Monitor, and more than 30% is experiencing a moderate drought. In northwest Iowa, some counties are experiencing severe and extreme drought conditions.
“Dry conditions in some areas have impacted pastures and hay yields,” said Russ Euken, beef and swine specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “So far, most row crops in all but the driest areas have not been impacted too severely, but hot and dry conditions going forward will have more impact on yields.”
Euken said the directory provides another resource that buyers and sellers should consider.
“The directory gives sellers a place to make people aware of what they have to sell and buyers a place to find forage they may need,” said Euken.
Denise Schwab, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist in northeastern Iowa, said producers commonly rely on local hay and straw auctions, but she added that the state directory is another useful tool. Schwab said many parts of the state, including northeast Iowa, have generally had a good haying season, but variability persists across the state.
The directory allows users to search by product and by county. Anyone can view the hay and straw directory, but only Iowa sellers are included on the list.
If you are a farmer interested in selling hay or straw and need to update your information, consider creating an account in the online system, or contact Judy Allison at 515-281-8604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Loading roundbales, by Maurice Metzger/stock.adobe.com.