A dry summer in some parts of Northern Michigan has impacted the local hay crop, farmers are now expecting this to affect the cost of dairy products starting this winter. At Shetler's Dairy Farm in Kalkaska they were able to only harvest 30% of this year's hay.
M ost farmers around Northern Michigan are experiencing this type of shortage. It's a problem that may cause future headaches for both farmers and you,as you head to the grocery store.
"C onsumers probably can expect higher food prices ," Farmer George Shetler said.
T his is unsettling news for local shoppers , who will likely see a jump in dairy prices. At Shetler's Dairy Farm they sell organic milk products to local grocery stores. Their cows will likely struggle to provide quality milk because this year's hay based feed is not very good.
" On the normal milk market, farmers are barely breaking even at this point and if feed prices go up any further there going to be in a loss situation so its one of those things that can't be avoided in this kind of climate ," Shelter said.
F arm owner George Shetler is relying on left over hay from last year to get them through the winter. The strange March weather paired with extreme dry heat has ruined a majority of his hay to feed his cattle.
" And all the alfalfa during summer turned yellow before we got it cut so it was, there was something basically moisture and heat apparently was too much for the alfalfa to even survive well In that kinda heat ," Shetler explained.
T his year's hot weather has rattled nearly everyone in the farming industry. I t ' s ruined different kinds crops all around northern michigan and across the midwest a nd Shetler says its unlike anything he's seen before.
"I n my 30 years 32 years up here never ever seen any kind of weather like this that to this extreme where things started that early," Shetler said.
S ome local farmers who didn't have hay left over from last year are now paying around $60 a bail, which is almost five times more than average prices.