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Updated April 7, 2008

This page is designed to provide farmers with information about the drought and how to cope with it. The left-hand column contains links to a variety of government and private resources. The right-hand column contains links to statistics, plus documents offering advice and guidance about coping with the drought. In the center section, you'll find summaries and links for assistance programs and the latest drought-related news. This page is updated when new information is available, so please check back regularly.

Assistance Programs

Toll-free number available to assist farmers in finding hay or placing for-sale ads through the Hay Alert Web site. Call 1-866-506-6222 weekdays.

Ag and Equine Partners transportation cost-share assistance program for hay purchased outside N.C.

The Ag Partners and Equine Partners hay relief program, funded by public and private contributions, can help farmers and equine owners with the cost of moving hay purchased outside North Carolina.
Ag and Equine Partners Hay Relief Program

Non-profit groups and Cooperative Extension agents interested in organizing hay shipments for farmers in their community can find out more at the Community Partners page.

Golden Hay Relief Program for transportation of N.C.-grown hay

Logo of the Golden LEAF Foundation The second phase of the Golden Hay Relief program will provide assistance for the transportation of North Carolina-grown hay or forage products within North Carolina, for loads delivered Jan. 1 through April 30, 2008. The second phase is also open to livestock owners who purchased loads of hay or forage that were delivered between Sept. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2007, as long as they had not already submitted an application for reimbursement for those loads under the original Golden Hay Relief program. The program is made possible by a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. For eligibility criteria and an application, click here.

Emergency Hay Program ends regular sales
April 1 was the last day of regular sales for the Emergency Hay Program, which helped livestock owners meet their animals' winter feeding needs. However, the department is keeping a small inventory of large and small bales of hay at each of the six distribution sites in case livestock owners experience an animal welfare emergency in the next few weeks. Learn more about this program here.

Latest News

Frequently Asked Questions about NCDA&CS Hay Relief
Download this pdf file for answers to common questions about the department's hay-relief efforts.

(4-7-08) Troxler announces changes to program that provides cost-share funds for bringing in hay from outside N.C.
RALEIGH – Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has announced changes to the Ag and Equine Partners Program that helps livestock owners pay the cost of trucking in hay from outside North Carolina. The changes will ease some requirements and expand the window of eligibility. Read More>>

(4-1-08) Golden Hay Relief launches second phase, will offer cost-share assistance on loads of N.C.-grown hay delivered through April 30
RALEIGH – Golden Hay Relief, a program that assisted drought-stricken livestock owners with the cost of transporting North Carolina-grown hay and forage to their farms, is launching a second phase. In this phase, the department will offer cost-share reimbursements on shipments of in-state hay and alternative forage delivered this year between Jan. 1 and April 30. The department will also accept applications from livestock owners who did not apply for assistance during phase one. Read More>>

Other News ...

(3-19-08) Troxler reminds livestock producers that Emergency Hay Program will end April 1 Read More>>
(2-21-08) Emergency Hay Program to begin winding down in March Read More>>
(2-6-08) Gov. Easley extends waiver of width restrictions until April 30 Read More (PDF file)>>
(1-25-08) USDA News Release: USDA accepts applications for crop, feed and livestock losses suffered Feb. 28 to Dec. 31, 2007 Read More>>
(1-22-08) Hay moving into state; response has been overwhelmingRead More>>
(1-3-08) N.C. Cattlemen's Association donates $5,000 to NCDA&CS hay-relief efforts Read More>>
(12-20-07) State purchasing hay to resell to farmers at lowest cost possible Read More>>
(12-20-07) NCDA&CS raises reimbursement limits for programs helping farmers with hay-transportation costs Read More>>
(12-20-07) Gov. Easley extends waiver of width restrictions until Jan. 31 Read More (PDF file)>>
(12-19-07) N.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America donates $18,000 to NCDA&CS hay-relief efforts Read More>>
(12-4-07) Council of State approves money to help drought-stricken farmers Read More (pdf file)>>
(11-27-07) NCDA&CS announces program to help horse owners with cost of transporting hay for the winter Read More>>
(11-13-07) WNC dairy and cattle farmers to benefit from Ingles Markets
Read More>>
(10-31-07) Alternative feeds for beef cows should be tested for nitrates Read More>>
(10-25-07) Gov. Easley testifies before U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, asks for more assistance for N.C. farmers suffering from drought Read More (PDF file)>>
(10-12-07) Drought continues to affect N.C. crop production Read More (PDF file)>>
(10-10-07) Troxler urges farmers to act now to buy hay, feed for livestock before winter arrives Read More>>
(10-10-07) N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance donates $10,000 to help drought-stricken N.C. farmers Read More>>
(10-10-07) N.C. State Grange donates $5,000 to help drought-stricken N.C. farmers Read More>>
(10-1-07) Planting cover crops is especially important this year Read More>>
(9-27-07) Duke Energy, West Brothers delivering feed to drought-stricken N.C. cattle farmers Read More>>
(9-21-07) Gov. Easley extends waiver of width restrictions until Dec. 31 Read More (PDF file)>>
(9-19-07) NCDA&CS advises farmers to take steps to reduce potential spread of plant pests when moving hay or forage Read More>>
(9-18-07) Deadline to sign up for federal EQIP is Nov. 1 Read More (PDF file)>>
(9-14-07) USDA designates 85 N.C. counties primary natural disaster areas; 11 contiguous counties also eligible for aid Read More>>
(9-12-07) N.C. crops continue to suffer because of drought Read More>>
(9-11-07) NCDA&CS, Golden LEAF team up to help farmers with cost of moving hay across North Carolina Read More>>
(9-6-07) Troxler advises farmers to protect baled cornstalks from possible rain Read More>>
(8-29-07) Gov. Easley waives road weight restrictions to aid in drought relief Read the Executive Order (PDF file) >>
(8-28-07) Ag Commissioner Troxler: State facing hay emergency;
creativity needed to help farmers cope
Read More>>
(8-15-07) Troxler announces drop-off sites for aflatoxin testing Read More>>
(8-10-07) Production of many N.C. crops lower than a year ago Read More>>
(8-2-07) Don’t fertilize grass during drought Read More>>
(7-19-07) Farmers urged to test all forage for high nitrate levels; abnormally high levels seen statewide Read More>>

Hay Alert

DISCLAIMER: Information presented on this Web site is collected, maintained, and provided for the convenience of the reader. While every effort is made to keep such information accurate and up-to-date, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services does not certify the authenticity of information that originates from third parties. Under no circumstances, shall the NCDA&CS be liable for any actions taken or omissions made from reliance on any information contained herein from whatever source, nor shall the NCDA&CS be liable for any other consequences from any such reliance.


Statistical Resources

NC Drought Monitor

Current Crop Weather Report

NC Counties Requested for Drought Disaster Assistance Map

Map of Estimated Hay Needs


Tax-related issues

Income Tax Issues of Weather-Related Sales of Livestock

For Horse Owners

Drought Feeding of Horses: Test for Nitrates; Use Caution When Feeding Soybean & Peanut Hay (PDF)

Cornstalk and Soybean Hay Information

Baling and Feeding Corn Stalks to Beef Cattle (PDF)

Harvesting Soybeans for Hay? Read This First. (PDF)

NRCS Fact Sheet: Maintain Highly Erodible Land Compliance When Harvesting Corn Stover or Soybeans for Livestock Feed

Corn Stover as an Emergency Feed Source and the Potential for a Supplemental PAN Allowance for Small Grain After Stover Removal (PDF)

Corn Stover Crop Yield Record (PDF)

Determining storability of round baled corn stover and other forages using internal temperature as an indicator (PDF)

Instructions for Sampling Field Corn for Testing (PDF)

Interpreting Forage Analysis Reports for
Corn Stover

Interpreting Forage Analysis Reports for Beef Cows (PDF)

Estimating the Value of Nutrients in Baled Corn Stalks and Soybean Hay (PDF)

Other Feed Options

Establishing Winter Annuals (PDF)

Transportation Info

Executive Order Waiving Certain Highway Size & Weight Restrictions for Trucks (PDF)

Moving Hay or Fodder for Livestock Feeding Purposes? Check with the NCDA&CS Plant Industry to Reduce Potential Spread of Plant Pests (PDF)

Looking for information about managing other commodities during drought?

Find additional drought-management information at N.C. Cooperative Extension's drought page.