Hay supplies should meet in-state needs heading into winter, reports Tom Keene, hay marketing specialist with University of Kentucky Extension.

That's a turnaround from the start of the growing year.

"We were concerned early on that we might be a little short on supplies once we got to this time of year," says Keene. Overall hay acreage in the state was down by 8% compared to 2010 totals, plus there was little hay carryover coming out of last winter, he adds.

Favorable weather played a big role. "We've had more than adequate moisture, even record precipitation in some areas," says Keene. "For some, it was challenging to get quality hay made. But it certainly helped production overall.

"We've also seen beef cattle numbers drop off some. That should take a little pressure off the hay supply. All in all, we should be in pretty good shape."

Hay prices across the board are definitely higher than they were a year ago throughout the state, Keene says.

"But, in the last couple of weeks, they seemed to have stabilized. I haven't heard any reports of prices spiking here like they have been in some parts of the county. I think a lot of sellers here have decided just to step back and see how things play out from this point forward."

To contact Keene, call 859-257-3144 or email tom.keene@uky.edu.