N.C. drought fact sheet
U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 85 North Carolina counties disaster areas because of drought-related crop losses. The federal disaster declaration authorizes the U.S. Farm Service Agency to make low-interest emergency loans available to eligible producers in these and 11 contiguous counties.
Where Can I Buy or Sell Hay?
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers the Hay Alert Web site and hotline: www.ncagr.com/HayAlert or toll free 1-866-506-6222
This service allows farmers to place free listings searching for or selling hay. Users also can offer or search for hay transportation services. Operators on the hotline will take callers’ information and add it to the Web site or search the database for them. The hotline is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Forage Testing, Pesticides, Crop Insurance Considerations
Forage testing provides information about the nutritional value of feed or forage. This information can be used to adjust the amount of protein and energy supplements used with the feed or forage to meet the needs of animals. It is also important to test forage and grains for nitrate and aflatoxin levels to avoid production losses. Contact the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division, (919) 733-7366.
Buyers of alternative feeds should ask the seller whether any pesticides were applied to the crop prior to harvest, and if so, which pesticides were applied and when. Since many of these crops (corn, soybeans or peanuts) were not originally planned to be used as animal feed, they may have been treated with pesticides that have feeding restrictions on their labels. Buyers need to understand that the use of feed treated with such pesticides could lead to the occurrence of illegal pesticide residues in meat or milk. For information, contact the NCDA&CS Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division, (919) 733-3556.
If a farmer considers using a damaged crop for other uses and the crop is covered by crop insurance, important notification steps should be taken first. To protect the integrity of crop insurance claims and to remain eligible for a potential loss payment, the following steps should be taken:
1. Producers with crop damage due to drought or other causes should contact their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of the discovery of the crop damage.
2. A company loss adjuster will contact the producer to explain any further requirements with regards to field inspections, establishing representative sample areas in the field, and further caring of the crop.
3. In all cases, producers should not destroy their crops or representative sample areas without specific instruction from their crop insurance company loss adjuster.
If loss adjusters cannot visit the farm in a timely manner to designate a representative sample of the crop loss, the approved insurance provider may obtain the producer’s verbal agreement to establish and maintain representative sample areas of mature production for appraisal purposes. In all cases, farmers should contact their insurance agent for guidance.