If you've ever bailed hay all summer to put up as winter feed your heart will ache for the Montana ranchers who lost 9,000 bales of hay due to flooding according to Billings TV station KTVQ.
Central northern states like Colorado, Wyoming and Montana are able to produce great beef cattle because of summer hay stores that are fed to cattle in deep snow-covered pastures often using horse teams pulling sleds all winter. In recent years many states have experienced hay shortages due to drought conditions. This has not only driven up the price for available hay, it's made local quality hay harder to find for horse and cattle owners. Many small owners banding together to buy hay in bulk and spread shipping costs has kept them afloat, while others have had to sell off parts of their beef herd and horses.
In the past some states that have had hay made efforts to provide for states that were struggling to feed their livestock. During Northern Colorado's flooding of the Poudre and Big Thompson rivers last year many livestock owners were struggling to keep their herds healthy after the immediately after the heavy rains. In the longer term, they had to rely on hay to feed their stock coming from longer distances pushing many ranchers and farmers into debt.
For flood pictures and up-to-the-moment coverage, please follow the link to KTVQ TV's website.