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Hay distribution in Western Montana still going strong

Rain and irrigation systems have given Western Montana hay farmers a strong environment to grow hay.
Haystack
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jul 05, 2023

ST. IGNATIUS - While some Eastern Monysns farmers may be facing a shortage of hay, a number of farmers in Western Montana are facing the opposite problem.

The large amounts of rain and the use of irrigation systems have given local hay farmers a strong environment to grow hay.

One farmer just north of St. Ignatius is using his surplus to sell specifically to ranchers who do not have a sufficient supply

“We raise hay and sell the hay to ranchers that don’t have enough hay because maybe [it’s] being too dry," explained Russell Smyth of Smyth Land and Livestock.

Russell Smyth of Smyth Land and Livestock

Smyth further explained why some ranchers may be facing a shortage and why he chooses to sell to them.

“You get over on the eastside some deader places that are dryland and they don’t have it [rain] so they may only get one cutting a year, and if they don’t get the rainfall then they need more hay to maintain their livestock and so that plays into what we’re doing it creates another market for us.”

Smyth says if the weather remains dry throughout the summer the hay market will be strong.