Sunday, April 16, 2006

Drought Farmonomics

The drought hanging over most of Texas continues unabated, and it's having an impact here on our little slice of heaven. Hay for the horses and donkeys used to be anywhere from $3-$4 a square bale, and that's when it's delivered right to our door.

We just had to buy some at $10 a bale, and felt lucky to have found any at all.

It's just good old-fashioned supply and demand -- since there isn't any hay to be had for hundreds of miles, what there is has to be shipped in from other states. That means more gas to get it here and less of it overall to sell. So even if you're lucky enough to find some, it's going to cost you.

What's worse is, the animals hate the new hay. It's dry and yellow, with very little nutritional content. I put out a whole bale the other day and they just turned their noses up at it. Heck, it's so bad they almost refused to pee on it.

We still have a bit put aside from the last good batch, but we're going to have to ration it out. Luckily there's a fair bit of green grass coming up, and with 80+ acres for 3 horses and 7 miniature donkeys we should be all right. Although if we don't get some rain in the next few weeks, even that's going to die off as temperatures hit the high 90's.

Droughts in the city didn't matter much beyond maybe having to not water your lawn for a few days, but out here I'm beginning to understand just how devastating they can be.

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