With input costs increasing, hay grower Frankie McCrory will be forced to raise prices on the bermudagrass hay he sells to horse owners within a 150-mile radius of his Lexington, MS, farm.

“Everything keeps going up – fertilizer, baling twine, labor, parts and irrigation costs,” says McCrory. “Customers complain whenever you raise the prices. But you have to do it to justify staying in business.”

He plans to charge $5.50 each for small square bales weighing 45-55 lbs. That’s if customers pick up bales in fields. Once he stores the hay, the price will jump to $6.50/bale. In both cases, the 2012 price will represent a 50¢/bale hike over last year’s price.

He plans to begin first-crop bermudagrass harvest this week. “We sprayed with Pastora to control unwanted grasses, and that set the grass back a little bit. Overall though, things are looking pretty good. We’ve had ample rains this spring. Our pastures are pretty and our cows are getting fat.”

To contact McCrory, call 662-897-4084 or email fmccrory@mjmh.org.