I am in the midlands of SC - I pay $12 a bale for good quality timothy/mix - I've looked around - square bales of timothy/grass mix - or timothy/alfalfa (about 25% alfalfa) - anywhere from $8.50 a bale (you pick up) to $13 a bale depending on who you buy it from - I pay $12 a bale (about 65 lbs.), delivered and stacked. I usually get 80 to 90 bales at a time. The coastal here is anywhere from $5.50 a bale (you pick up) to $7.50 a bale, delivered and stacked. I moved here from PA and my horses were on timothy and I've continued to use timothy. If hay is trucked in the price is usually high - we have no choice but to pay the price if we feed timothy. In PA timothy was the local hay - I never had to pay over $3.50 a bale for it and that was delivered and stacked. I had a huge barn there and could take in 17 1/4 tons at the time. Not that simple here unfortunately! Good luck!
we live near Charlotte - Fort Mill, SC actually and price of good hay is anywhere from $3.50 - 8.50 depending on the supplier - we get ours out of the field for $3.50 (if stacked in barn then $4.50).
Coastal is $6/bale and alfapha/timothy/fescue is around $6/bale
when the supply is good the prices are great - it was a so so year for hay - only 3 cuttings due to lack of rain in the fall - so the best hay was the first 2 cuttings....but because of the many suppliers the price stayed pretty even
there are lots of suppliers in the Charlotte, upper SC area - so getting hay is rarely a problem even when supplies are low in other areas
I live about 45 minutes northeast of Charlotte and for fescue/orchard mix, I pay $3 a bale (for in barn hay) or $2.50 a bale (I get out of field). Large round bales are $15-$25, depending on who I get it from. Not as bad as I thought, considering the dry summer!
I think those of us in Florida should buy together a truckload(s) and split it up among ourselves. Working out the logistics of where, when and how to get it delivered to all is the sticky point. Buying bulk is absolutely cheaper than by the bale... that is true no matter where you live though!! Consistent quality and availability would be great. Unfortunately where my horse is now at my friends, she doesn't have space for hay storage so she buys 10-15 bales at a time... and pays dearly for that.