Rain is Costing Hay Farmers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rain is Costing Hay Farmers Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. - Some wheat growers are counting the rain as a blessing.  Hay farmers are wondering when it's going to stop.

The rain may be an inconvenience to everyone else, but for hay farmers, it has the potential to cause a catastrophe for hay farmers.

"It can cost thousands of dollars," said hay farmer David Manterola.

A field of timothy, a specialized type of hay, is usually exported to Japan for about $200 a ton.  On Friday, with each raindrop, it's losing it's worth.

"It's about 900 tons, so I'm losing about $90,000 worth of timothy," said Manterola.

On Friday, the Hay Growers Association said 25 percent of the hay is harvested, 50 percent is cut and being rained on, and the final 25 percent is maturing but being damaged by the showers.  

Another major concern is mold.  If it starts to grow in the crop it can make horses sick and it loses its protein.  Once it reaches that point, it becomes very hard to sell.

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