Many horse owners who buy hay for their animals know little about how it's made. They think high-quality hay can be harvested year-round, says Susie Walton.

That's why she wrote Producing Quality Hay For Horses In Michigan The Walton Way with input from her husband, Bob, who grows 200 acres of it. The 40-page, ring-bound book describes every step of their commercial hay business, from field preparation to deliveries. Photos of the various types of equipment used are included.

The goal, says Walton, is to help horse owners understand the ups and downs of hay production, and to educate those who may want to grow hay. In the introduction, she writes about a shortage of high-quality horse hay in Michigan and the need for more growers.

She has written several other publications, including A Bale Is Not A Unit Of Measure, a brochure the Waltons hand out at the annual Michigan Horse Expo. It tells horse owners that bales aren't uniform in size and weight, and that “Buyers who insist on buying by the bale can really be cheating themselves.” The Waltons prefer to sell hay by the ton and charge 50¢/bale more for per-bale sales.

The book sells for $10; the brochure is free. For more information, contact the Waltons at 989-433-2925 or visit www.walton farms.com.