FORT LUPTON, Colo.-- Near Fort Lupton, where the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank is busy gathering hay and feed for livestock, farmers and ranchers are checking their third hay crop of the year.
Many are finding their winter feed is destroyed -- meaning they will have to either burn it unless it is suitable for grinding.
“We had two inches (of rain) Friday before we got about eight inches Sunday,” said Nathan Von Feldt. “Our fields filled up when the ditch and rivers overflowed their banks and sent water all over the farm.”
Their story is like hundreds of others on the eastern plains, their hay crop is turning black, meaning it is beginning to mold, which also makes it ripe for catching fire on its own if it gets too much air.
Nathan showed us handfuls of molded hay, you can feel the heat from the bad hay.
Each bale of the alfalfa hay costs about $150 to $180, so losing hundreds of bales will put a big ding in farmers pocketbooks, which is why it’s good the food bank is up and running.
Colorado Horsecare Foodbank, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation is distributing emergency hay to horse owners in flood areas in northern Colorado starting Tuesday.
The group's mission is to keep horses and their people together during financial hardship.
In addition, the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank hay hotline number been updated to: 303-717-4821.
You can also call that number to donate hay to the organization.
Both mixed bales (blend of grass and alfalfa), and straight alfalfa bales will be available at the following location in northern Colorado.
Details of CHF emergency hay distribution are as follows:
- Location: Gibbs Performance Horses, 9265 County Road 24, Fort Lupton, Colorado 80621
- Date: Hay will be distributed from September 17 until further needs assessments are made
- Times: Volunteers will be on hand to distribute and help load hay from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm from September 17 until further needs assessments are made