An ongoing drought in Western North Carolina is becoming a crisis for farmers.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has been touring areas of Western North Carolina the past two days and meeting with farmers about the drought conditions there.
Hay producers and livestock and trout farmers are already feeling the effects and the situation could get even worse. Troxler has seen dried up, brown hay fields and trout farms with low water levels.
"There's a looming crisis out there," Troxler said. "Hay is in very short supply. The fields are brown and even if they got rain, it wouldn't bring this crop back.
"Some of the livestock are already being fed winter hay, which wouldn't happen under normal conditions," he added. "Farmers are looking at producing about 30 percent of the hay they normally would, and 100 percent of that could be gone by early fall or winter."
Troxler plans to convene a task force Tuesday to discuss ways to help farmers through the crisis.