Alfalfa hay growers and the Flying Wallendas have something in common; they both work without a safety net. The Wallendas do it because it draws a bigger crowd, but alfalfa growers do it because they don’t have a choice.
Alfalfa acreage has been going down even though the price for hay has been going up. The National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance did a trend study last year and that acreage for alfalfa had declined 15 percent in the previous 10 years and last year alone it declined another 10 percent. Drought and acres lost to corn or soybean are part of the problem but lack of a safety net for alfalfa growers is also to blame.