Skip to main content

Horse owners feeling the squeeze since hay prices have tripled

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A soggy spring and dry autumn have made it harder to find hay in Minnesota ... and where it is found, the cost of a bale is enough to choke to horse.

A University of Minnesota extension specialist tells WCCO-AM sticker shock is a common malady among farmers and ranchers hoping to stock up on hay for the winter.

“I think a number of these farmers are either unprepared to deal with this situation, or they aren’t yet fully aware of how serious it is,” Krisona Martinson tells the radio station. WCCO says cases of animal neglect and abuse have soared, with the Minnesota Humane Society reporting a 400 percent increase in a year.

The Perham Focus reports an Otter Tail County couple was sentenced to jail time this month after six horses were found dead on their property near Vergas. Last month a western Wisconsin man was charged with 34 counts of animal mistreatment after four dead horses were found on his land.

The Minnesota Hay Bank is accepting donations as it works to make hay and feed available to horse owners who need help. WCCO says the Bank has purchased 20 tons of hay for a "food shelf for horses."

This year the University of Minnesota developed mobile apps to help ranchers compare hay prices and calculate how much their animals need.

Here's a look at the minimum requirements for owning an equine as laid out in a state law, the Minnesota Pet and Companion Animal Welfare Act.

Next Up


Motorcyclist killed on I-494 crash in Richfield

The Minnesota State Patrol has identified the victim as a 42-year-old Shakopee man.


Gallery: This Seward Neighborhood gem SOLD fast!

Classic 1903 home came with modern updates

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Evacuations underway after explosion, fire on U of M campus

Evacuations are in effect on campus after an underground explosion and fire Thursday afternoon.

hopkins high school

‘Terrible prank’ during tornado drill causes scare at Hopkins High School

The school principal said the incident brought armed police to the school and "understandably caused some scholars anxiety."

MNBCA - Balsimo 1

Woman admits to role in St. Paul man's gruesome murder

A 32-year-old Duluth woman has taken a plea deal in the case of a 34-year-old St. Paul man's murder.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

'Living nightmare’ alleged at Savage, Minn. rabbit sanctuary

"Peacebunny Cottage" is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation.


Tractor tips on embankment, killing man in Kandiyohi County

The tractor reportedly tipped and fell on top of the man, pinning him underneath.

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin teams with Mike Golic Jr. for college football broadcasts

Martin, 33, lives in Minnesota and continues to climb the sports broadcasting ladder.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.

16362 County Rd 81, Maple Grove, Minnesota - October 2021 (4)

Use of car seat in crash that killed child still under investigation

The mother of the child was treated for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.