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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 • 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 • 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? • Personal contact • Phone call • Visit stable • email • Advertisement • Bring a sample of your hay with analysis
How do you keep repeat business? • 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 • Free of mold, dust, & foreign material • Free of weeds & blister beetles • Fresh smell • Leafy & green without a lot of stems • Lab analysis??
Horse Hay Reality • Hay weight x digestibility = performance + manure • Eating rate - palatability • Uniformity in bale weight
Hay Classification • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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)
Grass, Grass/Alfalfa, Alfalfa • 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? • By the bale? • By the ton? • What is the best value?
Pricing on RFV • 125 RFV x 1.1 = $137.50/ton • 1.3 = $162.50/ton • Coefficient varies depending on supply & demand
Relative Feed Value • 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 • Small squares • 35-100 lbs • Usually the package of choice
Hay Packages • Medium squares • 730-1425 lbs • 3 x 3 x 8 ft. • May offer potential savings some years • Precise feeding is more challenging
Switching from Small to Medium Square Bales • 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 • 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 Packages • Big squares • 3 x 4 x 8 ft. • 4 x 4 x 8 ft. • 1300-1800 lbs
Hay Packages • 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 • Sun cured alfalfa pellets • Beet pulp pellets • Soyhulls • Cottonseed hulls/sunflower hulls • Millet hay • Straw/corn stalks
Grain • 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 • Boarder perception • Constipation • Colic • Must supplement more concentrate to maintain weight
How to Buy 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? • 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 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.