Good Spring Hay Harvest Means Plentiful Autumn Supply, Despite Dry Weather

Knoxville – Dry weather in October has not had a large negative impact on Tennessee hay farmers.

A University of Tennessee forage specialist said many hay farmers are in good shape.

“We-ve had pretty good hay crops, but this fall we-ve been really dry,” said Dr. Gary Bates. “Most of the producers I-ve talked to have got a lot of hay out there, but a dry fall means they-re feeding baled hay to cattle sooner than they-d like to.”

Bates said the cost of supplying baled hay for cattle is much higher than allowing them to forage for their own food.

“A dry September and October can influence how much baled hay has to be fed to cattle,” Bates said. “Good rainfall means you don-t need baled hay until January or February, but dry weather means you have to supply baled hay starting in November or December.”

The latest Crop Moisture Index shows East Tennessee a little drier than normal, but West Tennessee is much drier than in previous years.