Local farmers in North Carolina, USA are feeling the effects of drought
conditions, paying higher prices for hay and selling off livestock they may not
be able to feed in the coming months.
Hay prices have nearly doubled and now even the higher-priced hay supply is
running out. To help with the situation Gov. Mike Easley issued an executive
order last week waiving certain size and weight restrictions for trucks hauling
hay or water for a 30-day period.
The order allows vehicles transporting
hay or water along North Carolina roadways to drought-stricken counties to
exceed the normal size and weight restrictions.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in
a press release last week that the state is indeed facing a "hay emergency" due
to the drought. He encouraged corn and soybean farmers to consider baling their
stalks and plants for use as animal feed.
Reports from farmers across the
state indicate that as many as 800,000 round bales of hay will be needed to make
up the shortfall and feed livestock through the winter.
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