Hay Alert Website Available to Help Producers Buy and Sell Hay
Caldwell County was spared the wrath from recent hurricane Florence. However, the eastern part of the State was not so lucky. The damage was widespread and included farmers. Some farmers had crops that were underwater, buildings that were destroyed, and equipment that was drowned.
Livestock farmers in the eastern part of the State are now facing hay and pasture shortage.
Some farmers lost significant amounts of stored winter feed. To assist these stockmen locate hay resources, the N.C. Cooperative Extension and N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services are directing farmers to the Hay Alert website.
The Hay Alert website is a useful tool which basically connects farmers that have hay with farmers that need hay. This site was originally developed in response to the drought of 2007. It got a major update in 2016 in response to hurricane Matthew. The website was originally developed and is currently maintained by the NCDA&CS.
Producers that lost hay and pasture because of Florence are assessing their hay needs now. As these farmers make plans, they need to know what options are available, and the Hay Alert is a good place for these farmers to look. However, for this system to work, producers that have hay need to list it on the site.
I know some Caldwell County farmers have been blessed with a bounty of hay for the past few years.
This site provides a great opportunity to help others with your excess. Hay can be listed for sale (or donation). Ads can also be placed to offer help with clean up, fence repair, and other recovery activities.
One of the biggest challenges during past emergency responses is the difficulty finding transportation for hay shipments. There is a transportation section on this website. This section provides contact information for transportation companies willing and ready to haul hay. If a whole load of hay is too much there is a “share a load” section to find other producers to split a load.
The Hay Alert website is a great tool and one that is especially helpful during natural disasters. If you have extra hay for sale, this is a great place to list your contact information and what hay you have. This will help producers in need. The bottom line is you might be able to help yourself and others.
Thanks to Dr. Matt Poore, NC State Extension Beef Specialist, for his help with this article. For answers to your agricultural questions, call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center at 828-757-1290 or visit us online anytime.