As farmers and ranchers combat sinking market prices and rising feed costs, a company will be in town Thursday to demonstrate their product and how it can save on hay costs.

Lee Hopkins and David Kirk will present Haymaster Southwest at 5 p.m. Thursday at a ranch half a mile west of Melody Mountain Ranch on FM 3025, next to Kirk Ray’s property. The site will be marked with Haymaster signs.

Haymaster is a nutrition injection system that Hopkins and Kirk say can boost the nutritional value of hay.

“We have a unique and revolutionary product we’re introducing into the market place in Texas that will provide an enormous cost savings and benefit to cattle farmers and dairy producers alike,” Hopkins said. “Our system is designed to get the most out of your hay, whether it’s two-year-old hay or fresh alfalfa bales, cattle will eat all the hay.”

Haymaster was founded in Georgia two years ago. Hopkins said they have been circulating through areas hardest hit by the drought, where farmers are often making do with substandard hay or are forced to pay high prices for the scarce commodity.

The USDA-Texas Department of Ag Market News weekly hay report published on Friday, said compared to last week, hay prices are generally steady.

For large alfalfa squares delivered to a farm, the report said farmers could expect to pay $160-$175 per ton for premium to supreme quality hay. Approximately 30 bales make a ton. In contrast, farmers could spend $110-$115 for fair to good quality bales.

Ranchers using coastal Bermuda could pay up to $80 for a large round for FOB - or if he come to pick up the hay himself. A fair quality roll might only cost $40, according to the report.

Spotted rainfall over parts of the state, including Erath County, brought some short-term relief in several areas, but more rain is still needed and drought conditions continue in much of the state. 

The report said supplemental feeding was still necessary, especially in central and south Texas. Many ranchers in these areas are forced to go out of their area to purchase hay and, in many cases, travel long distances to find hay suitable for their needs.

Hopkins said dairymen and ranchers could benefit from Haymaster, which is uniquely different from tubs or lick tanks.

“Mindful of the devastating effects of the drought in Texas and the economic down turn as a result, we feel our products could make a positive impact on the cattle farmers and dairy producers both economically and nutritionally,” Hopkins said. “Our system injects protein, minerals, and supplements right into the bale with 60 percent saturation upon penetration and we do it all for only $5 to $6 a bale.”

For more information about the system, log on to www.haymastersystems.com or call Hopkins at (817) 307-1986 for directions to the demonstration.