In the last few weeks, Kentucky farmers have reported major declines in production and profits.
The price of hay, for example, dropped 40% in Kentucky over the last three months.
Meanwhile, hay production has dropped from a high of more than 3 million pounds per acre in December 2015 to just under 2.5 million pounds in February of this year.
While the state’s agricultural sector has been a boon for the state and the agricultural economy, it has come with some risks.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) estimates that the cost of a pound of hay alone has increased by nearly a dollar since October, and that it has seen a decline in sales due to increased competition.
Kentucky farmers are being forced to increase the amount of hay they grow, and in some cases they are losing money on their crop.
“It’s a tough thing to manage,” said KDA spokesperson Amy Boesen, adding that the increase in costs for hay in Kentucky has “put a lot of farmers out of business.”
Boeson said that since the beginning of the year, Kentucky’s farms have lost nearly $200 million in market value.
Kentucky’s statewide farmers market was supposed to boost the economy and create jobs, but Boesan said the economy is “just not doing what it was meant to do.”
Biosolutions for the hay price crisis?
Some Kentucky farmers believe the state could take steps to address the hay market’s problems.
The agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Jim Schaffer, said the hay industry in Kentucky is underfunded and underfunded by the state.
“We’re at the mercy of the federal government,” he said.
Boesingen noted that many farmers are facing debt in addition to the hay costs.
The farm bill passed by the legislature in 2016 increased funding for the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, which operates the Hay Research Center.
The agency is required to spend $1.3 million each year to keep the facility running.
“I’m not surprised that they’re trying to raise funds,” Boesin said.
“The problem is they’re not addressing the funding.”
Bias in hay prices is a problem nationwide, Schaffer said.
While Hay Research Centers are funded, farmers are not receiving any funding for hay production, and a shortage of hay is hurting farmers across the country.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.P.C. study found that in 2012, more than half of the nation’s farmers were unable to make hay for their crops, which was a significant problem in many of the Midwest states.
The study also found that a large number of U.K. farmers were also unable to pay their debts, which increased their debt burden.
Schaffer pointed to an article published in the journal Economic Geography in the spring of 2016.
“There is a growing recognition of the problem of the Uphill Bias and the underlying causes of this problem,” Schaffer wrote.
“This is particularly true in the UK where the problem is exacerbated by the lack of adequate infrastructure to support the farmers who are still paying off their debts.”
Schaffer also said the current shortage of farmers in the U of K is the result of a lack of political leadership in the state to tackle the problem.
“A lack of investment by the current government, a lack on the part of the current leadership, and the fact that they are doing nothing on the federal level is creating this situation,” Schach said.
Some farmers are also concerned that the federal and state governments are not addressing their concerns about the hay crisis.
“Government is just not responding to what we are saying to them,” said Mark Anderson, a farmer in Kentucky who is one of the founders of the Kentucky Hay Producers Association.
“They don’t seem to be listening to us, and it’s just really disappointing.”
In an attempt to get the state of Kentucky to help farmers, Kentucky is now hosting the Kentucky State Fair, which takes place each year.
Kentucky is also working to create a national network of farmers markets to support farmers and increase sales.
“What we’re trying too is we’re doing everything we can to put a lot more farmers in their homes and to help them, and get them the support they need to be able to buy hay and grow hay,” Anderson said.
He said that some of his fellow farmers have had to go back to school to earn enough money to make ends meet.
“Every time I go out there, I’m thinking about my kids, my grandkids, my wife,” Anderson told FoxNews.com.
“And I’m wondering what’s going to happen to me?”
The hay shortage is making it difficult for many farmers, but they say they are prepared to take whatever steps are needed to continue growing.
“People want to grow hay, they want to buy more hay, and they want more hay,” said Boes