Precipitation totals were 10” below average in 2012 at Ross Kinney’s farm near Kilgore, TX. But the East Texas hay grower isn’t complaining. “The rains came at the right time during the growing season,” he says. “As a result, there’s more than an adequate supply of hay in our area. That’s not the case everywhere in the state. ”

Local growers are still concerned about what subsoil moisture levels will be once the growing season begins. “We had 2.5” of rain right before Christmas, and then we got 2” of snow to go with it. And there’s rain in the forecast. We’re hoping that comes through. We can use it and more.”

Kinney grows Tifton 85 bermudagrass on 140 acres of hay ground, 80 acres of which are irrigated. He markets most of his hay in 60- to 65-lb small square bales to horse owners within 120 miles of his farm.

Hay customers who picked up bales behind the baler in 2012 paid $8/bale. For hay stored in the barn, Kinney’s charging $9/bale. In local feed stores, similar hay is selling for $10-11/bale. “I have less than 100 bales left,” he says. “That’s right where I want to be at this time of year.”

To contact Kinney, call 903-522-0308 or email ross@esawireless.com.