I am sure by now if you are a horse owner, you are getting sick of hay being over $200 a ton and you wishing orchard grass would just start growing on the sides of the roads again like last year. Last year hay was $130 a ton and every barn was overflowing.
Travel down south about 600 miles and start shopping for orchard grass. As I write this post, I am in Sacramento and orchard grass (if you can find it) is selling for more than $350 a ton. Most of the hay down here is actually trucked from central Oregon or Nevada. In fact I saw oat hay, yes oat hay selling for $200 a ton! This market down here is much larger than the horse owners back home in Bend who can still afford the feed for their animals. Farm land down here is used mostly for high dollar crops, alfalfa is grown but it is mostly destined for the large dairies.
I don’t know how many tons of horse hay are trucked down here, but it is a large amount. Many ads down here in California advertise “Central Oregon Premium Hay” with ridiculous prices to cover the long routes the hay is trucked. I really feel sorry for horse owners down here. Maybe next year some fields will be converted to orchard grass or some other crop suitable for horses. Until then, I think this market down here will keep prices up back home in Central Oregon up for the near future.