WEATHER

Drought, pandemic affect Utah farmers and hay exports

Jun 1, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: Jun 22, 2021, 9:06 am
Tom Bailey with hay for export Utah hay...
Tom Bailey shows off the Chinese label on one of the bales of Utah hay going to Asia. (Photo: KSL TV)
(Photo: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah sends thousands of tons of hay every year to China and other countries in Asia and the Middle East. Droughts and dry weather are making that hay more expensive because ranchers have to buy more feed for cattle that would normally be grazing.

Tom Bailey operates three facilities in Utah that make compressed hay bales for the export market, and he says the price of alfalfa and grass hay has gone up from 10 to 20 percent this year because of that demand.

“They’ll have to go to the hay producers to sustain their needs, and that could put a little extra pressure on the hay market,” Bailey told KSL Newsradio.

Getting those hay bales onto ships to make the trip across the Pacific is another challenge as the pandemic caused disruptions in the availability of ships and containers.

“They have the contracts to deliver the product, but you can’t get the vessel space to deliver all of it, so we’ve had to drop production back some,” Bailey said.

Farmers could also face limits on irrigation water as the drought continues into the summer. About half of the water used for agriculture in Utah is used to irrigate hay.


Utah Drought:

Emergency order extended for drought, Utah Farm Bureau praying for rain

Wild Weather: Utah in the midst of an ‘exceptional’ drought

Drought could bring bears closer to people

DWR: Drought could impact fishing this summer

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative in California. The team consisted of The Salt Lake Tribune, Deser...
Amie Schaeffer

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative wins $20,000 prize in ‘Local that Works’ contest

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative gains national recognition with the top prize in the 'Local that Works' contest. The collaboration is a group of 23 media organizations and community partners focused on the plight of the Great Salt Lake.
3 months ago
Patrick Harden clears snow from the roof of his car on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Erie, Pa. The Nat...
Ralph Ellis, CNN

What causes lake-effect snow?

Lake-effect snow generally doesn't fall over the water because it needs the friction and topography of the land to bring out the snow.
3 months ago
Chad Cranney, Assistant Wildlife Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, pilots a fan ...
Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio and Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News

Many options for helping the Great Salt Lake; the simplest — use less water

Saving Utah's Great Salt Lake has become a vital issue as it sits at it's lowest level in recorded history.
3 months ago
The Great Salt Lake is pictured with a receded water line...
Mark Jones

Water levels are too low for some Great Salt Lake sensors

KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank says the Great Salt Lake is again at a historic low, and at least one sensor is no longer in the water.
3 months ago
A University of Utah researcher says history cannot offer a complete roadmap when looking for ways ...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

What role can history play in saving the Great Salt Lake, solving Utah’s water woes?

A University of Utah researcher said stories from history can help drive current decisions about the drying Great Salt Lake.
3 months ago
A sign at the Hemenway Harbor launch ramp marks the water line at Lake Mead in 2000, contrasting wi...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News and Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio

‘To Protect and Conserve’: Las Vegas has strict outdoor watering restrictions (with fines!) Should Utah do the same?

When it comes to water use in southern Nevada, it’s common to point to the excess of the Las Vegas Strip as a prime example of waste. But Entsminger said it’s a misconception.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Drought, pandemic affect Utah farmers and hay exports