Hay theft new threat for Iowa’s livestock farmers

12-19-2012 in Livestock

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – December 19, 2012 – As if the drought and reduced crop yields haven’t been challenging enough for livestock farmers, there is a new threat that is popping up across rural Iowa – hay theft.  The Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers (CSIF) has received numerous reports of hay being stolen across the state and reminds livestock farmers to be vigilant in monitoring their farms as well as their neighbor’s farms.

“We are getting reports from farmers that have had their hay stolen; hay that they are relying on to feed their livestock,” CSIF Executive Director, Brian Waddingham said. “Some farmers report single round bales disappearing to entire semi-loads of round bales to flat racks loaded with small square bales. The loss of a semi-load of round bales, which can approach $200 per bale, can have serious consequences for not only the farmer’s livestock, but his bottom line as well.”

As commodity prices continue to rise, every farmer should think about how and where they store their feedstuffs.  This includes not only corn and soybeans, but hay as well.  Farmers should also evaluate what security measures they have in place to deter would-be thieves.

“If farmers don’t have a plan in place, we encourage them to give us call to discuss some options for their operation,” said Waddingham.

CSIF reminds livestock farmers to store hay close to your farmstead where you can better monitor it.  If your hay must stay in the field, put a gate across the field entrance and lock it.  It’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbors and advise them that if they observe suspicious activity at odd hours to have them contact the sheriff’s department immediately to report it.

CSIF is a non-profit organization that assists livestock farmers who want help interpreting rules and regulations, guidance on good site locations for barns, counsel on enhancing neighbor relations and tips on how to protect the environment at no cost. This positive, solutions-based approach to helping livestock farmers grow is a collaborative effort involving the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation and the Midwest Dairy Association.  For more information, call 1-800-932-2436 or visit www.supportfarmers.com.

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