Hay shortage feared in some areas
By James Pascual
TRENTON — Some areas of Eastern Ontario could be hit with a hay shortage.
Hay "could be a hot commodity," said Trenton-based Tri-County Agromart agronomist Larry Hutchinson. "Dairy farmers are already inquiring about additional hay for sale. "I’m not saying we’re in trouble but people will pay attention to it," Hutchinson said May 30.
Some areas of Eastern Ontario are seeing good first-cut hay yields, while others aren’t, said OMAFRA crop specialist Scott Banks. "It’s hit and miss."
Areas most affected are in south Dundas, Ottawa-Carleton and Renfrew Counties, he said.
"There is certainly a concern that hay yield will be down this year."
There was some winterkill but mostly winter stress that has weakened stands and the spring has been very dry, he said. He added that some hay acreage was lost this year as farmers ploughed fields to make room for more corn.
Farther east, the hay crop looks very good, said Harvex crop advisor at Crysler, Bart Simpson, referring to most of Dundas County, as well as Stormont and Prescott-Russell Counties. "We’re in really good shape here."