State purchasing hay to resell to farmers at lowest cost possible
The Council of State in December approved a plan to provide up to $3.5 million to get hay for drought-stricken farmers who are running out of feed for their cattle, horses, sheep and goats.
The plan offered by Gov. Mike Easley will provide money to purchase and haul hay from other states to North Carolina, and sell it to farmers at the lowest cost possible.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has ordered the first shipment, which is scheduled to be delivered to six sites around the state in early January. As livestock owners buy up the hay, the department will purchase additional loads.
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.
“This hay will provide an emergency stockpile that farmers can tap if they find themselves in desperate need,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The agriculture community is appreciative of the governor seeing the severity of the problem and being willing to act.”
Livestock owners interested in buying the hay should contact the toll-free Hay Alert hotline at 1-866-506-6222 for details.
The Council of State unanimously voted in December to authorize the use of up to $3.5 million to purchase and transport hay. Farmers will pay the direct costs of the hay and transportation, so the state will eventually be reimbursed for its spending.