FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2008
||Brian Long, director
NCDA&CS Public Affairs
Hay moving into state; response has been overwhelming
NCDA&CS efforts will continue
RALEIGH – A few weeks into North Carolina’s emergency hay-relief efforts organizers are finding overwhelming demand for feed.
“We knew going into this effort what a serious situation livestock farmers and equine owners faced this winter, and seeing the immediate demand only reinforces the need for these emergency hay efforts,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Our farmers are in the same boat as everyone else in the Southeast, which means many people are trying to buy hay outside the region. We are continuing to source hay and arrange for transportation into the state as quickly as we can. This is a top priority for my department.”
The hay is coming from as far away as Canada, and is being distributed at six sites across the state. Those sites are: Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, (828) 456-3943; Upper Mountain Research Station, Laurel Springs, (336) 982-2501; Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, (704) 278-2624; Piedmont Triad Farmers Market, Colfax, (336) 605-9157; Caswell Research Farm, Kinston, (252) 208-3361; and Oxford Tobacco Research Station, Oxford, (919) 693-2483. Sites were selected based on proximity to livestock operations and storage facilities to keep the feed out of the weather.
Livestock producers and equine owners wanting to buy hay should call individual distribution sites and put their names on a waiting list. Staff at the research station sites will call when the hay arrives. Buyers are limited to four large bales and 20 small bales of hay per day.
Farmers who know they need a whole load of hay should try to source full loads themselves.
The department’s Hay Alert Web site, www.ncagr.com/hayalert, contains listings of people interested in buying and selling hay. Producers can post wanted or sale ads, and can also search the database themselves for feed or transportation. The ads are searchable by county, state and Canadian province.
Producers who do not have access to the Internet can call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-506-6222 and an operator will assist them in searching the database. Troxler encourages farmers who need partial loads to join forces with other neighbors in need of hay to make a full load. The Hay Alert Web site also features ads from people looking for others in their area to partner with on a full load.
“Buyers can apply for up to $500 in transportation cost-share funds per load for up to three loads of hay they buy. These cost-share monies will help reduce the cost of the feed and the hay can be delivered directly to the farm,” Troxler said. “The Emergency Hay Relief Program is geared towards helping farmers out in an emergency – for example, if their hay order has been delayed for a couple of days due to weather or other circumstances and they need feed.”
To date, the state has ordered about 960 tons of hay. Both livestock and horse-quality feed have been ordered.