ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – As if it’s not bad enough that Missouri farmers are trying to survive the worst drought in decades, now many of them are facing a new problem that’s costing them big bucks.
Missouri Farm Bureau president Blake Hurst says thieves are actually targeting those big bundles of hay that are left out in fields prior to being harvested, hauling them off and selling the valuable commodity.
“Of course, no one brands their hay so if you hook onto it with your tractor or your pickup and make it out the gate, then it’s impossible to prove where the hay came from,” Hurst said.
With winter approaching and grass dying out, the price for fresh hay to feed livestock is on the rise, and Hurst says that makes unguarded bales a tempting target.
Ironically, it’s because of the ongoing drought that fresh hay has become so valuable with the winter season fast approaching.
And it’s not just Missouri. This trend is happening in farm states across the country, so much so that some are now putting global positioning trackers inside their bales, in case they’re stolen.