Hay from Tennessee

I am wondering, all the hay you can buy in Florida is from Canada, or most northern Countries. Some is even from far out west. I have a friend living in Tennessee and he is always talking about the high quality grasshay his horses are eating. So why is this hay not available in Florida?? Wouldn’t the shipping be a lot cheaper??

We have high quality grass hay in Tennessee? That’s news to me. I have to ship mine in from out west.

There are a handful of top notch growers here who produce a wonderful product. Your friend must utilize one of them. But on the whole, this is not great hay making country and the bulk of what is baled could be considered mediocre at best. Which is probably why you never hear about people shipping in “Tennessee hay.”


Oh, that is interesting. Thank you very much. I have really never been to Tennessee and just listen to my friend. I know that he owns cattle and horses so I figured he goes for good quality. And when I googled it I saw some sources who discussed Tennessee hay. I was in fact thinking of shipping some hay in, but I guess I will ask him to bring a couple of bales with him when he comes down the next time…

Our native grasses tend to be warm season varieties with less nutritional values than the cold season grasses from up north. Much of the state has sparse topsoil before hitting bedrock, further reducing nutrition. While grasses grow really well here, our summers are humid, which can make getting the moisture content down for baling a challenge.

The quality producers in the state spend a lot on fertilizer, herbicides, and seed to grow an excellent local product… which generally makes it just as expensive as what can be shipped in from the north or west. Sometimes we have good years for local hay from those who put in minimal effort, other years it can be terrible.

If your friend has a good source at a good price, it would be worth it. But on the whole, it’s not the first state I would turn to for hay buying.

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Thank you very much for the information!!! I guess I will have to ask him some questions about his hay. But I will keep you updated what I will do.

Because of the drought I drove up to Tennessee to get hay. With the exception of the hay I bought from Tamara ( Production Acres) the other growers were selling crap. And the hay I bought from her was trucked in from New York and not grown in Tennessee. I know some people get good orchard grass hay from Tennessee but I couldn’t find any. What was being sold as Orchard Grass was a mix of fescue, orchard grass, foxtail, broom sedge and various other weeds. And all of the sellers told me they were selling “premium orchard grass” hay.

I would look at the hay before you commit and see if your horses will eat it.


I have lived in TN for three years now, and have yet to find hay of any great quality. Certainly not anything I would ship any distance.

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We get local, e tn, hay from several growers. Alfalfa and orchard grass, different hays, that are not cheap but good quality. We value our farmers. We can grow quality but curring it is sometimes problematic.

There is good weed-free orchard/mix hay in Middle Tennessee but it’s in nondescript areas and the locals don’t talk about it. That is because we pounce on it as fast as it gets baled for our own horses, and the mom and pop farmers run out practically before the motor is cooled down on the tractor:)

Don Blankenship, in the east side of Murfreesboro (toward Warren County) is a big grower and has always had good quality orchard/mix hay, just as long as you buy the hay in a decent time frame. He sells by the semi load or by the pick up load. He stores his hay (small squares) in three-sided sheds and if it sits too long it gets musty, moldy, generally smells crappy and my horses won’t eat it.

and yes we have HORRIBLE humidity. The semi-retired guy at the Co-Op said last year was the worst he can ever remember for our area. I ran fans on my new hay all summer, so as to avoid black mold.

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A little update! I got a bale from Tennessee today and it looked amazing!! I think my horses will love it!! So now I just need to get it to me… Thats probably the biggest problem…

Just be careful. Our (Mid-Tn for me) hay is very hit or miss even with the same growers. One bale may be great, the next moldy, weedy, or “sticky”.

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Thank you!! I am. And I am not sure how long the Tennessee hay will last in Florida weather conditions. I store the rest in AC right now and it looks great, but really after one day in my barn it started to look different already. Right now I have Hay from Oregon and that lasts for weeks even in Florida… So I am not sure if Tennessee hay is good for me

If it is baled correctly it will last. It is the condition in which it is baled that affects storage.

Of course in our neck of the woods and other humid areas that is always hit and miss!


I agree with you, but now its stored in AC and looks amazing :slight_smile: But I think I will stick with my regular Hay supplier. There I know the quality and there is never a hit and miss

I have gotten amazing orchard grass hay from a small local farmer in E TN for the last 3 yrs. It’s like horsey crack. Once you find a good producer, you stick with them.

Would you care to share who it is? My trainer’s regular guy is sold out - we’re in Bluff City.

Sent you a message…

It looks like east Tennessee had a good hay crop this year. Has anybody bought from somebody east of McMinville that is selling OG hay listed on C/L that has been tested by the University of Tennessee. No name listed on ad. I did get some nice OG hay last week from a grower in Spencer but checking out more sources. TIA!

yes i believe that it would be cheaper

Toootally old post i know, but I am in Blountville, are you still buying from this person and would you send me contact info? I only have one pony so even 50 bales will last me a good 6 or 7 months :slight_smile: