News last update:6 Aug 2012

Hay emergency in North Carolina

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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