Drought Causes Spike in Hay Prices

Submitted By: Liz Cooper, LCooper@K2TV.com  

The drought across the Midwest and here in Wyoming has caused hay prices to spike, hitting ranchers wallets hard. 

And those that really feel the effects are the livestock, as people can't afford to feed their horses. 

It's the highest price of hay ranchers say they've ever seen; going for an upwards of $300 a ton. 

It's forcing people to either keep hay they grow instead of selling it, turn over their livestock to the state or worse, let their animals suffer because they can't afford to feed them. 

We spoke with local ranchers and sheriff deputies on the recent issues they've seen due to the spike in hay costs. 

For those that don't take care of their animals, officials say it's a misdemeanor with a minimum punishment of 6 months in jail and/or a $750 fine for animal cruelty. 

For optimistic ranchers though, the spring months are among the wettest time of year, so they are still hopeful that moisture could save their hay crops.