Cost of Feeding Horses And Cows Skyrockets as Drought Sends Hay Prices Soaring

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    brown horse eating hay

    The cost of feeding California's horses and cows is skyrocketing as the state's persistent drought sends hay prices to historic highs.

    Tracy Underwood of the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center tells the Press-Democrat these days she pays more than $20 for a bale of hay.

    A decade ago, the cost was about $9. Underwood says she's taken to growing her own fodder to cut costs.

    The newspaper says less rain has meant fewer acres of oat, barley and wheat pastures - which has fueled a sharp jump in hay prices.

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    West Santa Rosa dairyman Doug Beretta says he recently sold 40 milk cows to a dairy operation in Idaho to offset the rising cost of hay.

    California's drought is now in its third year.