While much of the country has been hoping for relief from snow, ice and frigid temperatures, Wellborn, FL, hay grower Mark Randell wouldn’t mind wintery weather. The reason? Warm weather, in recent weeks, has put a drag on hay sales.

“It’s been a little slow,” says Randell, who puts up Coastal bermudagrass hay in net-wrapped round bales and small squares on 300 acres. “Until we get some cold weather, people aren’t going to be buying hay.”

Sales have lagged for the beef and dairy markets Randell serves, too, although prices have been holding firm. He’s currently charging $50-55 at the barn for 700-lb round bales and $5-5.50 (depending on volume) for 45-lb small squares.  “It really hasn’t changed that much from a year ago.”

To generate more revenue, Randell increased the percentage of small squares he made this year by 10-15%. About 75% of his production was put up into rounds. Next year, he plans to bump up small square production again – to 35% or 40% of his total production. “We’ve been seeing a lot of our business shift to smaller customers in recent years. The square bales have been consistently bringing a better price than the rounds.”

To contact Randell, call 386-208-2758 or email mrandell@windstream.net.

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