When purchasing hay, so many people forget that they are buying from farmers who happen to be human beings!  recognizing this simple  fact and understanding some details about growing hay can help you find (or negotiate) better deals on your hay.

The first and easiest way to get a deal on hay is to offer to pick it out of the field. It take a few more minutes, but usually you can negotiate as much as $20/ton off the price of hay simply because it removes the stacking labor and time for the farmer.  Now for me, if I get a call for 1 ton and they offer to pick it out of the field, they better show up right on time or I am not going to risk rain or waiting a day to get the irrigation back on, so BE ON TIME!

Another great way to find bargains is to talk to the small field owners, (1o acres or less).  Most of the time these growers have limited storage and try to sell it out of the field, so they usually are eager to move their hay and if you take a few ton, they will usually give you a discount.

Ask about last year’s hay.  Buying hay from the year before is unpopular, but very little if any nutrient value is lost and if the farmer needs the room for the new crop, showing up with a trailer can get you a good deal on hay real fast.  Tests have shown that the amount of nutrients lost by storage is minimal. See: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G4575.

Use these tips to get a break on these high hay prices!