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East Texas hay production on the rise

KETK
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POSTED: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 10:11pm

UPDATED: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 10:15pm

The summer heat has been the greatest adversary for hay producers across the south for the past few years.

But as July gets underway, it appears the tide may be turning here in eEst Texas.

"People I've talked to are doing well on hay, and are cutting hay right and left," said Chad Gulley, Smith County Ag Extension agent.

"Hay production is great this year, we've been blessed with lots of rain, if we can just get it up," said Steve Carpentet, owner of Circle C Farm and Supply in Bullard.

But although production is up, that does not mean prices will be going down anytime soon.

Producers and still reeling from losses from previous years.

"I don't necessarily look for hay prices to go down, even though we're fortunate to have rain, parts of the state are still considered a drought or extreme drought so we may be shipping hay to other parts of the state or other parts of the country," said Gulley.

"We lost a lot of grass roots and a lot of production due to the drought of 2011, but the grass is coming back with the rain.  As long as it keeps raining we'll have a pretty good year," said Carpenter.

But to make this good year and even better year, this is the time to use these showers to their fullest potential.

"In the past people have cut back on fertilizer and stuff because we hadn't had the rain, but now is the chance if you want to improve your rates and stuff is go ahead and fertilize those pastures and do a little extra to them, because it'll come back to you," said Carpenter.

When working the land, there are pros and cons to every weather pattern.  But when it comes to drought conditions of years past, or these current rainy trends, East Texans will choose the latter,every time.

"We'll take what we can get, and we're happy for it," said Gulley.

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