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Decreasing hay prices have local benefits

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Local farmers say hay prices are decreasing thanks to the rain we've seen this year.

"When we had the drought, even under irrigation the hay that we raised didn't do very good at all," Larry Robinson, owner of Robinson's Family Feed, told us.

Because of this, many farmers and ranchers were forced to order hay from out of state. But, things are looking a little different now.

"The thing that's got the hay cheaper is that we are not having to ship it in from South Dakota. The shipping isn't from hundreds of hundreds of miles away," Robinson said.

He told us, this year's rain has helped produce more local hay which results in lower prices.

"Things are starting to balance out. I think next year if we have as good a year or better, I think the price of hay will probably come down a little bit more," he said.

Although the price of hay may be decreasing, taking care of horses can still be expensive.

"You used to be able to pay $3 to $4 for a bail of hay. Now you pay $10 or $12 and it still feeds the horse for the same amount of time, and it costs a lot," Terri Gammage, president of Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue said.

She thinks the high cost of hay, as a result of the drought, may be one reason why there has been an increase in malnourished horses throughout the panhandle.

"When we started out we had one or two horses at a time and now we've got 13, 17, 24 at one particular time," Gammage told us.

Her mission is to help horses get healthy at the Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue in Amarillo.

She says lower hay prices will benefit her efforts.

"Things are getting a little bit better because hay prices have come down just a little bit, not as far as they need to make us all happy, but they have come down some so it's gotten a little bit better," Gammage said.

To help pay for expenses associated with taking care of the horses, the Panhandle Safe Hayven Equine Rescue will be having a Fall Benefit Trail ride Saturday, October 5, at the Los Cedros Ranch, 7.4 miles south of Claude Highway on FM 1258.

The event starts at 10:00a.m. Those interested must bring their own horse and have proof that the horse is negative Coggins.

Cost is $50 per rider, which also includes lunch.

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