If you sell hay to the horse market, you might want to let your customers know about a recently released mobile phone app. It translates a per-bale price into a per-ton price.

The Hay Price Calculator application was developed by University of Minnesota Extension equine specialist Krishona Martinson in cooperation with researchers from around the country.

Many horse owners buy hay by the bale, she says. But, in many cases, buying and comparing different hay types by calculating a per-ton price is probably more economical.

“Buying by the bale can make it difficult to compare prices between and within bale types,” Martinson says. “A $4 small-square bale that weighs 35 lbs actually costs more per ton than a $5 bale that weighs 50 lbs, for example.”

Horse owners can use the app to calculate per-ton prices for small-square, large-square and round bales of hay and other feedstuffs, like cornstalks and straw. Hay buyers must know the weights of bales to use the app accurately. It does not take nutritive values into account, she adds. “Ideally, the app will be used to compare prices of hay with similar forage nutritive values,” she says.

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As a companion app, Martinson recommends Healthy Horse. Developed by the same research team, this app enables horse owners to estimate the body weights of adult horses by entering height, body length, and neck and girth circumference. Ideal body weight and body weight scores are also calculated for Arabians, ponies and stock horses.

Both apps are currently available for use with iPhones and iPads. Android versions are in development.  The Hay Price Calculator app costs 99 cents. Healthy Horse sells for $1.99.

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