FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2007
Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
(919) 733-4216, ext. 242
State purchasing hay to resell to farmers at lowest cost possible
RALEIGH – The first shipment of hay bought by the state for resale to livestock farmers will be delivered to six sites across North Carolina in early January, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.
As livestock owners buy up the hay, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will purchase additional loads, Troxler said. He and Gov. Mike Easley worked to get the Council of State to approve funding for the program earlier this month.
“Cows and horses in North Carolina are eating between 15 and 40 pounds of hay each day, and we’ve got a fair number of sheep and goats who also need feed,” Troxler said. “The hay we’re bringing in will provide an emergency stockpile that farmers can tap if they find themselves in desperate need.”
The six distribution sites were chosen because of their proximity to areas with large livestock populations where the need for hay is great. Large and small bales will be available at each of the following locations:
- Mountain Research Station, 265 Test Farm Road, Waynesville;
- Upper Mountain Research Station, 8004 N.C. Highway 88 East, Laurel Springs;
- Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury;
- Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, 2914 Sandy Ridge Road, Colfax;
- Caswell Research Farm, 2415 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston;
- Oxford Tobacco Research Station, 300 Providence Road, Oxford.
The department has placed an initial order for 36 truckloads of hay, which will be distributed evenly among the six locations. Delivery dates for each site are still being finalized. Livestock owners should contact the department’s toll-free Hay Alert hotline at 1-866-506-6222 or log on to www.ncagr.com/HayAlert for information.
On Dec. 4, the Council of State voted unanimously to authorize the state to use up to $3.5 million to purchase and transport hay to North Carolina. In presenting the plan to the council, Easley said the state would use its purchasing power to buy hay at the lowest price possible. Farmers will pay the direct costs of the hay and transportation, so the state will eventually be reimbursed for its spending.