Sourcing good-quality horse hay from states neighboring Maryland has been tough duty this year for Bill Myers and his brother, David, who own Myers Feed, Inc., Upper Marlboro, MD.
“It’s scarce all the way around this year,” says Myers. “We’ve been able to find some timothy, but we haven’t found much of anything in the way of alfalfa or orchardgrass.”
The Myers supply the horse market in southern Maryland. Their customers include thoroughbred racetracks, riding stables and backyard horse owners. They typically buy out of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. This year, they’ve been looking farther afield and have been able to find some timothy out of Canada.
Currently, the brothers pay $280-350/ton for high-quality timothy. “That’s up a little from a year ago, but not a whole lot.”
At this point, there hasn’t been enough alfalfa and orchardgrass moving in to set a market. “The price will be established if and when we find some,” says Myers.
On the demand side, buyers who ordinarily buy local hay haven’t been able to find enough to meet their needs, he notes, and that’s increased business for the Myers. “Ordinarily, a lot of people don’t like paying for out-of-state hay. Once they start buying it, though, they realize that it’s enough of a better product to justify the higher price.”
He wouldn’t be surprised to see prices push higher this fall. “It’s a little bit early to know exactly what’s going to happen. But the drought was worse this year, the demand is strong, and the supply just doesn’t seem to be there.”
To contact Bill or David Myers, call 301-627-8164.