Summer Drought Causes Hay Shortage in Michigan

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HOWELL, Mich. (AP) -- A long summer drought has caused a shortage of hay in Michigan and sent prices skyrocketing.

As a result, farmers, rescue groups and private owners throughout the state are struggling to feed their stocks, cutting budgets, turning to outside help and even leaving Michigan to purchase hay.

Cindy Ashley is the barn manager at Horses' Haven, a Howell-based nonprofit group that cares for aged, abused, rescued and neglected animals.

She's seen the cost to feed the dozens of horses there leap to nearly double last year's price.

Ashley says "it could be back-breaking" if prices rise any higher.

The Michigan State University Extension estimates overall hay yields dropped 15-30 percent in the Midwest.

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