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UW Extension Horse Hay Marketing Program 2007/ 2008 Buyers Survey Keith VanderVelde UW Extension Marquette County 480 Underwood Ave. Montello, WI 53949 608-297-9153 ext #4 Keith.Vandervelde@ces.uwex.edu Horse Hay Marketing Program Phone Calls to Seven Stables in Wisconsin & Illinois

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uw extension horse hay marketing program 2007 2008

UW Extension Horse Hay Marketing Program 2007/ 2008

Buyers Survey

Keith VanderVelde

UW Extension Marquette County

480 Underwood Ave.

Montello, WI 53949

608-297-9153 ext #4

Keith.Vandervelde@ces.uwex.edu

horse hay marketing program

Horse Hay Marketing Program

Phone Calls to Seven Stables in Wisconsin & Illinois

Questions Asked Related to Hay Buying and Feeding

Most had similar concerns

Feed 350 horses hay each year-limited pasture land due to high land cost

Ninety percent of the horses are boarded for other owners

Board rates ranged from $350-$750 per month

Hay was a major part of most horses diets

Most stables averaged 20-25 lbs of hay per head per day or 9,200 lbs per year (4.6 ton per year/horse)

horse hay marketing program buyers survey

Horse Hay Marketing Program Buyers Survey

Top Ranked Issues:

Forage Quality/Safety

Concerned about horse health and liability issues

Forage Uniformity and Consistency

Want to feed hay and grain at constant levels with no changes

Size of Bales

Prefer small squares weighing 45 lbs (1/2 bale per horse)

Several stables big squares ok if they have tractor/loader

Round bales only used for rough board (outside penned)

Regular Delivery with Dependable Timing

Cannot run out or get down to 3-4 day supply in winter

horse hay marketing program buyers survey4

Horse Hay Marketing Program Buyers Survey

Top Ranked Issues:

Price-least important-at $4 per bale the hay cost per month is only $60 per month ($4/2 x 30 days=$60). Hay cost per horse per year is $720. Hay in 45 lb bales at $4 per bale is selling for $177 per ton. At 4 tons per acre the gross sales are $711 per acre.

Stables spend more on Insurance and Hired labor

Clients want horses to receive the best hay based on color and texture

Stables want hay that does not cause colic, heaving, or coughing

Stables strive to minimize situations that involve calling veterinarians.

horse hay marketing program getting the business

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

Have the right product

Grass/legume mix in small square bales

Bright green color-no rain damage

Store inside or sell direct from field

Have a forage analysis available

Give some feeding recommendations for the hay

horse hay marketing program getting the business6

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

Distinguish Your Business:

Business Stationary

Hay related Invoices

Produce Tags that go on each Delivery

Deliver in Clean trucks and trailers

Have good signage on trucks-name, phone, e-mail, website, product

Wear clean clothes-cowboy hat and boots create positive impression

Take time to visit with owner or manager of stable

Treat the help with Respect

horse hay marketing program getting the business7

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

How Big is the Business:

American Horse Council Estimates the U.S. Has 10 million horses

Exceeds the 9.1 million dairy cows

For each horse there are 3 beef cows

There are 2 million horse Owners in U.S.

35% earn less than $50,000

28% earn more than $100,000

70 % live in towns with less than 50,000 residents

horse hay marketing program getting the business8

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

Know the Clients:

Horse owners spend on horses not Harleys or Boats

Horse industry is a discretionary income industry

Horses often fall into the pet or companion animal category

horse hay marketing program getting the business9

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

Category of Owners:

Professional Owners and Trainers

Racetracks, training facilities, ranches, breeding farms

Rely heavily on quality feed products

Competitive Riders

Compete in various horse related events/shows

Interested in performance of feed products and price

Recreational Riders and Owners

Trail riders

Interested in performance, price and availability

Caretakers

Own Pasture Pets

Focus on price and convenience

horse hay marketing program getting the business10

Horse Hay Marketing Program Getting the Business

Questions to Ask Before Entering the Market

What is My Product?

Must be Quality Grass/Legume Mix

Who is My Customer?

Figure out customer needs: bale size and quantities

Where Can I Sell:

Direct to Client

Direct to Feed Store or Hay Broker

How am I Going to Get Hay to Customer?

Logistics

Store and Unloading-enough space for semi-load