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State’s emergency hay program winding down

RALEIGH ó N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds livestock producers that the state’s emergency hay program will end April 1.
Since late December, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been selling hay at six locations across the state to help owners of cattle, horses, sheep and goats meet winter feeding needs. The department announced last month that the program would begin scaling back before ending.”With the recent rains across the state and warmer weather on its way, we are optimistic that this program won’t be necessary anymore,” Troxler said. “However, if something like a late snowstorm happens that causes a spike in hay demand, we will act quickly to help.”
The state is selling hay Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at six locations across the state, including the Piedmont Research Station on Sherrills Ford Road. For more information, call the Research Station at 704-278-2624.
Livestock owners may buy up to eight large bales and 60 small bales per day. Limits are subject to change depending on supply and demand.
In December, the Council of State authorized the department to use up to $3.5 million to buy and transport hay to North Carolina, where it could be resold to farmers for the cost of the hay and transportation.
As of mid-March, the program had spent about $478,000 and brought more than 2,400 tons of hay into North Carolina from several states and Canada.
Troxler said the conclusion of the emergency hay program will not affect the department’s Ag and Equine Partners Program, which provides transportation cost-share assistance to N.C. livestock producers who purchase hay from outside the state.
For information, contact the Department of Agriculture’s Hay Alert hotline toll free at 866-506-6222 or log on to www.ncagr.com/hayalert.

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