Check back often to stay up to date with our latest Newsletter, Sales, and Products Spotlights.
Update on hay:
Our new alfalfa has arrived and is very nice. We also have new mountain grass. It looks great and from what we hear it is feeding very well too! Our 3-way mix continues to feed well and we expect to have enough for the foreseeable future. We expect new orchard alfalfa by the end of the month. Unfortunately, all of our rye was rained on in the field. We have been looking for more and have potentially secured a few loads. If you are interested in Rye please let me know and I can give you a call when we get it.
We are excited to announce that Higby's is one of the debut stores on a new App called Nytch. Nytch is a new way to shop our store and any local participating retailer, combining the great service of our staff with the convenience of shopping online. Instead of having to search throughout the internet, make calls, send emails, and schedule in-store visits, now you can simply create "requests" for what you need. That request is matched to local businesses who will respond with thoughtful recommendations of their goods and services to address your needs-- competing for your business and providing guidance along the way. You can even ask to hold the recommended products in store to make sure it fits your needs exactly before you buy it. Nytch connects you to locally owned and operated businesses that sell everything from custom floral arrangements to hardware for your next DIY project to pet supplies. Nytch was founded locally, in Woodland by a team of developers that support local business and recognize the value they bring to their communities. Get the App and give it a try!
Did you know…
-July is the warmest month in the northern hemisphere on average
-July is often called the dog days of summer because of the long hot days.
-August is related to the word "auger", a hole digging tool, because farmers dug for next season at this time every year.
-August in the northern hemisphere is similar to February in the southern hemisphere.
Thank you for your business!
We are proud to announce we are now stocking Integrity Horse Feed. Integrity Feeds is a small family owned business focused on the quality of the ingredients instead of “least cost” or cheapest ingredient mixes. They have a personal commitment to quality and good manufacturing process to make the best horse feed possible, with integrity! We are looking to host an informational night for customers who maybe interested in learning more about this feed. Until then, check out their website at Integrityhorsefeed.com. The website includes a “horse feed selector” which asks you a few simple questions about your horse and then helps you select the most appropriate options based on your answers.
Speaking of new products, we have a load of used 2 7/8” pipe in 8’ &10’ lengths. This is a great alternative to wood posts as they last forever! We have all the accessories to hang gates and attach wire to these posts without the need to weld.
Chick season is upon us once again. We currently have chicks scheduled to arrive every Thursday through June 27. You can check out our events page on our website to see what is scheduled to arrive each week. We have had a few questions about Newcastle Disease, the highly contagious respiratory disease currently affecting poultry in Southern California. Our hatchery is located in Texas and they assure us their birds have not been exposed and are very healthy.
Do you have large animals on your property? With the recent wild fires and flooding we have seen as of late, an evacuation or shelter-in-place plan for your large animals is a necessity! SVELT, The Solano Voluntary Emergency Livestock Team is a group of volunteers focused on helping large animal owners prepare and be self-sufficient in evacuating your animals from your property in the event of an emergency affecting Solano County. In addition, they may also be able to help with the transportation of your animals during voluntary evacuations On Sunday March 17, 2019 from 10:30a.m.—2:30p.m. SVELT will be hosting an informational booth here at Higby’s to provide information and schedule visits to properties in Solano County for those interested in developing a plan. Be sure to stop by and talk to them!
Are you tired of the rain yet? While it makes for muddy messes, it also makes for greener pastures and some other pretty cool things like the spilling over of Lake Berryessa’s Morning Glory Spillway, the largest drain hole in the world! Last time it spilled over was February of 2017. If you haven’t seen it in action, its worth the short scenic drive!
Our hay quantity and quality is in good shape. We have been able to maintain full inventory of all of our different varieties even with all this rain. With regard to hay, and really any large load we encourage our customers to secure and tie down their loads. If you do not have straps and rope we have some for sale. We want all of our customers to have safe loads when leaving the store. To that end, we are more than happy to assist you in securing your load, however, the ultimate responsibility of making sure your load is safe and secure is you, the driver.
If you are involved in 4-H and FFA and shop at Higby’s for your animals feed and supply be sure to sign up for your Jr. Livestock Producer Program. In addition to getting a discount on feed you will also receive coupons to save on shavings and show necessities and a cool 2019 limited edition Higby’s hat! Ask our staff how to sign up next time you’re in the store!
We are looking for a few good friends...on Facebook! If you haven’t “liked” us yet, please do! We will be using it as a platform to interact with our customers, offer flash sales and notify our customers of special events happening here at the store. We plan to expand to Instagram as well so be sure to give us a follow!
Thank you for your business!
As we move into the new year we want to say a special thank you for making 2018 another successful year here at Higby’s. 2018 certainly had it’s challenges with the rising steel prices. If you think about it when you drive in our driveway look around at how much steel we sell! That stuff was all affected by the increased steel costs. Scott did a good job of staying ahead of the price increases and purchasing when there were opportunities to save a few bucks. As a result we even saw increased sales in steel posts, fencing, and gates last year! So let’s take a second and talk about where steel prices are going this year..... Likely we will continue to see price increases until this tariff thing stabilizes. There are likely companies that have been waiting to raise prices and if they see no relief in sight will be forced to go ahead raise them. Of course it is possible the tariffs will go away and eventually steel prices will come down but that will take awhile as everyone works through their higher priced inventories. Anybody care to guess?
We are doing well on keeping all the different varieties of hay available for you. As of early January it is looking like we should have enough to last through until the new hay season. So what do we have? Alfalfa, Oat, Oat Mix, Rye, Teff, Mountain Grass, Orchard Alfalfa. We also have plenty of Rice Straw and probably enough Wheat Straw to last most of the winter. Sometimes we don’t keep the Wheat Straw here at the store so ask ahead.
FEED AND GRAIN UPDATE
We want to thank everyone who came to our Customer Appreciation Day! The weather turned out perfect, the food was great, many of you won prizes, and we all had a great day! We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!
We are doing a Feed Greatness Event the end of November. Many Purina horse feeds will be discounted from Nov 24 thru 30 (see ad in this newsletter)! On the 30th there will be a drawing for an Orion 65 Cooler ($500 value)! All thru November you can get one ticket for every $100.00 spent to put into the drawing!
Here is an update on how we are doing with hay. Alfalfa Hay is good quality and we have plenty. Oat, Oat Mix, and Rye are not very flashy this year but they are all feeding well. Mountain Grass is really nice right now! The Orchard Alfalfa is running 30 percent alfalfa and higher, it kind of varies from load to load. We struggled with Teff early on but landed on a good batch that is put away in a barn for us. As the winter progresses keep checking as we probably do not have enough Teff to last thru the entire winter. We are in that time of year that we would expect the hay prices to inch upward as we move to barn stored hay for the winter. Overall not a bad report when it comes to hay! Grain prices are relatively stable. Some of the milks just took an increase and bird seed pricing is always volatile.
Steel is still crazy. Tariffs and freight costs have been taking their toll. We hope this all stabilizes soon.
Thank you all for your loyalty! We truly do appreciate your business!
Roland, Scott and staff
Mark your calendars...it’s time for Higby’s customer appreciation day again ... Saturday September 29th. Like before, we will have food and goodies all day long. The Taco cart was such a hit last year we have invited the same vendor back again! If you missed last year we started off with breakfast burritos in the morning and after they were gone chicken, beef, or pork tacos! In my opinion what made these so good was he also has all the condiments available for you to add. They were excellent!
Scott’s mom is making her famous brownies and more goodies! Denise will surprise us with her snacks later in the day. She is already talking about meat balls with a special sauce, shrimp fresh off the bbq and who knows what else! Mari and Gary have lined up vendors to be on hand to answer your questions and no doubt many will have coupons!! Higby’s is paying the sales tax for you on the 29th, that day only so don’t miss it! We are running the Purina Checkerboard Days promotion on that day as well so watch for extra discounts on your favorite Purina feed and we still pay the sales tax! There will be many other deals, etc. so it will be worth your while to come!
Last but not least we will have raffle prizes. You can start entering your name for the prizes all month long! We have a nice selection of prizes to give away. I know I must have missed something but we want you to know we really appreciate our customers and this is your special day! Thank you!
Anything made of steel is continuing to be hit with price increases. Items we sell that are affected are fencing, gates, cattle handling equipment, steel panels, t-posts, water troughs, livestock feeders, and anything else that has any metal or steel in it. The only way we have to combat this is to keep well stocked so that we can stave off the price increases as long as we can. We tend to not increase our prices until we place orders for the new higher priced inventory. Thanks for your understanding.
If you haven’t stocked up your barns yet it is September! Don’t wait too long! When the days get shorter and nights cool off the alfalfa starts being higher in protein and then we are competing with the dairy cow market.
Thank you for continuing to put Higby’s on the map! We appreciate you!
Roland and Scott
Save the Date!
Customer Appreciation Day Saturday, September 29th
Here is an update on what our hay looks like. We have some really beautiful 2nd cutting Alfalfa. It is really nice, green, leafy, and small to medium stemmed. Third cutting and later is still our recommendation for stocking your barns with horse Alfalfa and should be available mid July but this 2nd will get you by until that time. The Oat hay is showing a lot of brown grass. It seems to be feeding ok but the Three Way hay looks much nicer and also feeds well. In most cases you probably will choose the Three Way over the Oat. The Rye is average looking and seems to be feeding well. We just got in new Mountain Grass from this year. It looks great! Orchard Alfalfa is still last years but is really nice. Our guess is we will see this year’s Orchard Alfalfa sometime late July. Teff hay should be available again by late July. There it is in a nutshell! Hope this information helps.
This past month showed little movement in grain pricing. I like it when I don’t have to change pricing! The grain forecast is good at the moment which helps keep pricing stable. It is just kind of a wait and see thing from month to month so stay tuned!
This year seems like it is really zipping by! We are thankful that we are keeping very busy here at the store. Over the years we have seen all of the circumstances above come and go. We have learned to just roll with the punches and do the best we can for our customers. For example if we have opportunity to save by buying truckloads direct we do so. This year we have ordered more t-posts and wire than we have ever done in the past in an effort to keep hedging the price increases.
Scott and I truly appreciate your business!
If you remember the last newsletter we were looking forward to a rain event that would push us over 10 inches of rain for this season. We exceeded that and are now over 12 inches! Still well below normal, but for now it is all good. That’s good news for the Oat and Rye hay. I know the hot days are coming soon, so enjoy this mild weather while it lasts! Of course we have no control but as we get into May they will be cutting grain and grass hay. Let’s hope the rain doesn't come visiting then! Any rain as it gets close to harvest time diminishes the quality of the hay and too much will actually render it unfit for horses .... such critical timing! Farmers have to have stomachs of iron to face weather that is beyond their control. Really we don’t consider hay to be horse quality until it is cut, baled, and put into the barn all without any rain .... a 2 to 3 week process! That’s a lot to ask!
Some feed, especially higher protein feed that uses soybean as a protein source continues to inch upward. Some of these have actually seen increases ranging from 25 to 75 cents per bag. I wish we didn't have to raise prices but unfortunately we have to follow the grain markets. Hay prices are holding strong, but it is too early to forecast what they will do once the new crop becomes available sometime toward the end of May. Remember, since the majority of our hay is sold for horses, we try to have enough of last year’s Alfalfa to last until 3rd cutting. Why? 1st cutting Alfalfa is far too rich in protein for horses and can lead to colic. It makes excellent dairy cow hay because high protein results in higher milk production, in fact dairies will pay a premium for this high protein hay. The same is true for dairy goats, but be careful! In years past I have seen dairy goats have difficulties when switching from lower protein 3rd or 4th cutting Alfalfa to 1st cutting. If at all possible make this change gradually. Also for our sensitive horses, the 1st and 2nd cutting Alfalfa is where you will find more noxious weeds. By 3rd and 4th cutting (your best bet for Alfalfa for horses), the weeds can’t compete with the rapid Alfalfa growth due to warmer weather and longer days. Often, customers wonder with all the pretty new green Alfalfa in the fields, why are we still selling last years hay? Now you understand why!
Steel pricing is close to being out of control! We have made some early purchases to hedge the price increases as much as possible but it is going up. If you need a new gate, fence, or anything steel I suggest buying it sooner than later! Hope this information helps.
Thank you all for your business! Roland
Just a month ago it was looking pretty bleak for our winter rainfall totals. Today, as I write this newsletter, it has improved but it doesn’t look like we will be anywhere close to normal. There is a nice rain event forecast for this week that may push us over 10 inches for the year. The normal rainfall for Dixon is around 16 inches and last year we had double that! At this point we can just be thankful for what we get and hope when the spring hay crops start being cut it doesn’t rain all over it! We have experienced some wild swings in temperature which is making some of our animals susceptible to pneumonia. Keep an eye on them!
We have enjoyed an extended period of stability in the grain market. Now things are starting to move upward. One factor causing this is drought conditions in Argentina leading to soybean futures hitting an 18 month high. This may influence growers to plant more soybeans which could lead to a drop in corn acres planted which will put pressure on the corn price. In April we will have been in business for 34 years! We have seen this sort of fluctuation many times!
The same sort of thing is happening with Alfalfa hay. As you drive the freeway, and especially rural roads you see more and more orchards being planted. Guess what? Less Alfalfa hay. Less planted Alfalfa = higher priced hay, it’s as simple as that! As of right now we have a wide assortment of hay choices for you. Oat hay is the one variety we may be getting low on. If your animal must have Oat and nothing else it might be wise to pick up enough to last through May or so.
Why? Steel is the stuff gates, water troughs, fencing, and posts are made of. We are experiencing price increases and in some cases multiple increases from some suppliers. To keep ahead we just ordered a full truck load of wire, and a full truck load of t-posts. This too we have seen over the years. I remember years ago talking with a salesman when steel prices were escalating at an alarming rate. I told him these companies were going to price themselves out of the market! He disagreed. Later when steel came down these companies were forced to sell their inventories below cost to get back into the market! Rough times! Anyway it is what it is!
As always we appreciate very much, our customer base and look forward to providing you with the best customer experience we possibly can! Thanks!