Photo: Valerie Everett, Flickr
The 2012 Michigan hay crop is not looking good, due to widespread drought conditions. From Michigan State Extension:
The dry weather of 2012 has left most livestock producers in the Midwest scrambling for more hay. First cutting hay yields were down 20 – 40 percent in much of Michigan and with the dry weather intensifying, total hay yields for the year could be off by 50 percent or more. In order to feed ruminant animals such as beef cattle, sheep and others through the winter season many are looking for ways stretch their feed resources.
Their first recommendation is "Cover what you have first". Losses due to spoilage range from 4-7 percent for well-covered hay to 20-35 percent for baled hay left out in the fields.
If you need hay as feed, one source (for information at least) is the Internet Hay Exchange. It's a marvel of Craiglist-style old school Internet simplicity in design, with offers from hay sellers for each state. As of this writing, a big round bale of alfalfa/timothy hay would set you back $60 picked up from Montague, MI, or $80 delivered, according to this listing.
Hay is for horsesBut cows eat it tooIf you don't be quietI'll feed some to you