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NCDA&CS Hay Alert

Equine Partners Hay Relief Program

With North Carolina continuing to experience drought conditions, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has explored several options to assist livestock producers in locating and transporting forage products to their farms.  It is clear that the biggest impediment North Carolina livestock producers have to moving hay and other forage products to their farms is the cost of transportation. 

The goal of the Ag and Equine Partners Hay Relief Programs is to collect and fairly distribute funds that may be used to defray some of the cost associated with transportation of hay from outside North Carolina at a rate of 50 cents per mile round trip or $1 per loaded mile, up to $500.  These reimbursements will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.  The extent of funds is entirely dependent on the level of donations received from outside sources.

Producers are eligible for cost-share reimbursement on a maximum of three loads delivered on or after December 4, 2007.

For eligibility and application guidelines, read below or download a copy here (PDF file).


  • Ag and Equine Partners Hay Relief Program funds are only available to reimburse farmers for hay brought in from outside North Carolina on or after September 5, 2007. 
  • To be eligible to receive reimbursement for transportation costs, a buyer of hay or forage must submit a Transportation Reimbursement Request form, along with the original bill of lading from the trucker used to transport the hay or forage.  Farmers should retain a copy of the bill of lading or transportation receipt for their records. 
  • To be eligible for cost-share funds, the hay that is moved must be for the farmer’s (or rescue operation's) own use, and not be intended for resale.
  • Because funds are limited, producers will be limited to cost-share reimbursement for only one load per farm for loads delivered between September 5, 2007, and December 3, 2007, with a $500 cap on the reimbursement. These applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2008.
  • Producers are eligible for reimbursement on a maximum of three loads delivered on or after December 4.
  • Applicants who have already received reimbursement for a load delivered prior to December 4 can simply reapply for reimbursement on loads delivered on or after December 4. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted.
  • Any cases of fraud or abuse of the program will be prosecuted or pursued to the fullest extent of criminal and civil law. 
  • Only full loads of 25 or more standard large round bales weighing at least 750 pounds each, or the equivalent amount in small bales, large square bales or very large round bales will qualify for the reimbursement.
  • Animal owners can utilize their own transportation (use their own truck, tractor trailer, etc.), but may be asked to submit additional documentation prior to reimbursement.
  • Forage or hay transported must be for feed to be given to livestock, including cows, horses, goats and sheep.
  • Hauls must be a minimum of 100 miles one way to be considered.  Reimbursement will be based on 50 cents per mile round trip or $1 per loaded mile.
  • The buyer of the hay or forage is responsible for making the arrangements of the purchase, transportation, and assuring payment to both the grower and the trucker.

Applying for Funds

To sign up for cost-share assistance on loads delivered on or after December 4, 2007, download a Reimbursement Request Form and send it in with the proper documentation. Forms also are available by calling 1-866-506-6222.

Forms should be sent to:

Ag Partners Hay Relief Program
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
P.O. Box 27647
Raleigh, NC 27611

Completed Reimbursement Request forms must include the following information:

  1. Name of farmer seeking reimbursement
  2. Mailing address and telephone number
  3. Social Security or federal tax ID number
  4. N.C. Farm ID Premises Identification Number ( For an NCFarmID application, go to
  5. Size of livestock operation, including specifically the number of livestock and hay on hand prior to the purchase for which cost share funds are sought
  6. Seller information, including the identity, address, and telephone number of the individual who sold the applicant the forage
  7. Transportation information, including the name and number of any individual or entity who provided transportation services
  8. The original bill of lading or transportation receipt
  9. Date of delivery
  10. Number of miles the forage was transported
  11. Number of bales transported
  12. Delivery location and location of origination of load (which must be outside N.C.)
  13. Signature and date of application

Determining the Amount of Cost-Share Funds to Be Allocated

When funds have been depleted, the program will end. The department reserves the right to deny or limit the reimbursement if an applicant’s transportation expenses appear to be unreasonably excessive, and to request additional information or documentation before making eligibility determinations.  This is not an entitlement program.  The ultimate discretion for eligibility determinations belongs to the department, and determinations are final once they are rendered. 

The department reserves the right to amend or further clarify the procedures and guidelines of the Ag and Equine Partners Hay Relief Programs in order to ensure fair and timely management of the programs.

Community Partners

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.

Making a Contribution

If you are aware of any individual, business or organization that would consider contributing to the Ag Partners or Equine Partners Hay Relief Program, please contact Chrissy Lucas at 919-733-7125 or by e-mail. Contributions to these programs are tax-deductible.

View the Partners Drought Resource Assistance Program Brochure.


Call the Hay Alert hotline at 1-866-506-6222 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Our Thanks to Organizations and Individuals who Have Contributed to the Ag and Equine Partners Programs So Far

List of Donors

Updated February 21, 2008

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