Marketing hay to the fast growing horse industry
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Marketing Hay To The Fast Growing Horse Industry. Dr. Tim L. Stanton Owner/Manager of Sunset Stables LLC Extension Feedlot Specialist for 25 years. How does one find horse stables or horse owners willing to buy your hay?. Phone book/website

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Marketing hay to the fast growing horse industry l.jpg
Marketing Hay To The Fast Growing Horse Industry

  • Dr. Tim L. Stanton

  • Owner/Manager of Sunset Stables LLC

  • Extension Feedlot Specialist for 25 years


How does one find horse stables or horse owners willing to buy your hay l.jpg
How does one find horse stables or horse owners willing to buy your hay?

  • Phone book/website

  • North Forty News, Fence Post, Thrifty Nickel, Newspapers, Local Horse Publications

  • Hay haulers

  • What do stables want?

    • People that want to board or breed horses


How do you make the connection l.jpg
How do you make the connection? buy your hay?

  • Personal contact

    • Phone call

    • Visit stable

    • email

  • Advertisement

  • Bring a sample of your hay with analysis


How do you keep repeat business l.jpg
How do you keep repeat business? buy your hay?

  • Deliver quality at a fair price

  • Ask your customers what they want!

    • Be ready to provide it

  • Know your product

  • Minimize variability


Hay quality assessment l.jpg
Hay quality assessment buy your hay?

  • Free of mold, dust, & foreign material

  • Free of weeds & blister beetles

  • Fresh smell

  • Leafy & green without a lot of stems

  • Lab analysis??


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Horse Hay Reality buy your hay?

  • Hay weight x digestibility = performance + manure

  • Eating rate - palatability

  • Uniformity in bale weight


Hay classification l.jpg
Hay Classification buy your hay?

  • Horse hay $100-250/ton

    • Priced by bale ( small squares) or ton

  • Dairy hay $110-180/ton

    • Priced on RFV basis/ton (big packages)

  • Cow hay $80-150/ton

    • Priced per ton

  • Mulch/erosion control price ???



Hay costs and board fees l.jpg
Hay Costs and Board Fees buy your hay?

  • For every $25/ton increase in hay prices, one must increase board fees about $11.25 per month to offset the hay $ increase.

    • @ 30 lbs hay/horse/day

  • Can we decrease lbs/head/day and still maintain body condition?

    • Yes, if we purchase higher quality hay!


Hay quality determination l.jpg
Hay Quality Determination buy your hay?

  • Stage of maturity when cut

  • Lack of weathering

  • Handling during harvest

  • Duration and conditions of storage

    • Minimize bottom or top bale spoilage

    • Don’t send cow chips and rocks

    • Weed free as possible


Storage losses l.jpg
Storage Losses buy your hay?

  • Inside 5-10%

  • Outside on ground 8-29%

  • 2 yrs 13-32%

  • Bottom bales - to prevent losing a whole layer - consider placing gravel or recycled asphalt on hay storage area (outside under tarp)


Storage feeding losses stored inside rack fed l.jpg
Storage & Feeding Losses, % buy your hay?Stored Inside & Rack Fed



Grass grass alfalfa alfalfa l.jpg
Grass, Grass/Alfalfa, Alfalfa buy your hay?

  • Choice depends on supply and what horse owners want you to feed.

  • Can you feed alfalfa only?

    • disadvantage if you are riding on city trails.

    • Increased urine volume & ammonia odor

  • Cereal grain hay – harvested when green

    • More grain – higher feeding value- soft dough


How should i sell hay l.jpg
How Should I Sell Hay? buy your hay?

  • By the bale?

  • By the ton?

  • What is the best value?


Cost per bale l.jpg
Cost per Bale buy your hay?


Pricing on rfv l.jpg
Pricing on RFV buy your hay?

  • 125 RFV x 1.1 = $137.50/ton

  • 1.3 = $162.50/ton

  • Coefficient varies depending on supply & demand


Relative feed value l.jpg
Relative Feed Value buy your hay?

  • Hay sellers will find labs that tend to analyze forage a little higher in RFV.

  • Ask if the analysis is from a certified lab.

  • There may be an economic advantage to move from buying hay on a per bale basis to a RFV basis or use crude protein/ADF or TDN basis.


Hay packages l.jpg
Hay Packages buy your hay?

  • Small squares

    • 35-100 lbs

  • Usually the package of choice


Hay packages22 l.jpg
Hay Packages buy your hay?

  • Medium squares

    • 730-1425 lbs

    • 3 x 3 x 8 ft.

  • May offer potential savings some years

  • Precise feeding is more challenging


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Switching from Small to Medium Square Bales buy your hay?

  • May require a different type of feeding system

  • One has to recalibrate flake size

    • Instead of 2 flakes am & pm with small bales

    • Might only feed one flake of a medium square per horse per day

  • This may require a larger stall feeder


Medium big squares l.jpg
Medium & Big Squares buy your hay?

  • Require a hefty tractor/ loader and a different method of feeding, rather than feeding 2-4 flakes per horse per day.

  • Weigh the flake!


Hay packages25 l.jpg
Hay Packages buy your hay?

  • Big squares

    • 3 x 4 x 8 ft.

    • 4 x 4 x 8 ft.

    • 1300-1800 lbs


Hay packages26 l.jpg
Hay Packages buy your hay?

  • Round bales

  • 5 x 6 or 6 x 6

  • 500-1500 lbs

    • Good for feeding groups of horses

    • Difficult to feed individual animals without processing


Alternatives l.jpg
Alternatives buy your hay?

  • Sun cured alfalfa pellets

  • Beet pulp pellets

  • Soyhulls

  • Cottonseed hulls/sunflower hulls

  • Millet hay

  • Straw/corn stalks


Least cost energy l.jpg
Least Cost Energy buy your hay?


Energy requirements 16 4 mcals d for 1100 lb horse l.jpg
Energy & Requirements buy your hay?16.4 Mcals/d for 1100 lb Horse


Grain l.jpg
Grain buy your hay?

  • May want to consider feeding more grain

    • Cheaper on cost /unit of energy

  • Forage should never be less than

    • 0.5 lbs/100 lbs of body wt. Or 5 lbs/1000 lb horse/day

    • Safer if not more than ½ of total feed eaten


Risks of alternatives l.jpg
Risks of Alternatives buy your hay?

  • Boarder perception

  • Constipation

  • Colic

  • Must supplement more concentrate to maintain weight


How to buy hay l.jpg
How to Buy Hay? buy your hay?

  • Purchase on a ton basis

  • Develop good relationships with hay growers – pay promptly & don’t bounce checks



How to market hay to the horse industry l.jpg
How to Market Hay to the Horse Industry? buy your hay?

  • Developing relationships

  • Providing value

  • Delivering in a timely manner

  • Delivering hay year round

    • Do you have storage?


All i need to know in life i learned from my horse l.jpg
All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From My Horse buy your hay?

1. When in doubt, run far, far away.2. You can never have too many treats.3. Passing gas in public is nothing to be ashamed of.4. New shoes are an absolute necessity every 6 weeks.5. Ignore cues. They're just a prompt to do more work.6. Everyone loves a good, wet, slobbery kiss.7. Never run when you can jog. Never jog when you can walk. And never walk when you can stand still.8. Heaven is eating for at least 10 hours a day... and then sleeping the rest.10. Eat plenty of roughage.11. Great legs and a nice rear will get you anywhere. Big, brown eyes help too.12. When you want your way, stomp hard on the nearest foot.13. In times of crisis, take a poop.14. Act dumb when faced with a task you don't want to do.15. Follow the herd. That way, you can't be singled out to take the blame.16. A swift kick in the butt will get anyone's attention.17. Love those who love you back, especially if they have something good to eat.


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