Frank Morris for NPR
Missouri rancher Bob Bricker feeds his cattle hay during an ice storm. A hay shortage sent prices for feed skyrocketing, forcing Bricker to sell off his herd in response, despite depressed cattle prices. Bricker figures the move cost him $30,000 a year in lost revenue.
Blizzards across the high plains, summer fires in Oklahoma and a drought across the western Midwest have combined to create a hay shortage. As Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports, hay is selling for nearly three times the normal price in some places.