Hay Alert Website
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The Hay Alert website is available to help farmers impacted by flooding and natural disasters to secure winter hay supplies and access other important services.
Dr. Matt Poore, NC State Extension. This document was reviewed by Dan Wells and Bryan Blinson
Producers experiencing silage, hay and pasture losses as a result of Tropical Storm Fred will find the Hay Alert website a useful tool in securing sufficient hay for their winter needs. This site was originally developed in response to the drought of 2007, and it was updated in 2016 during the Hurricane Matthew response.
The website was developed and is managed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in collaboration with N.C. Cooperative Extension. Access the site using the link below:
The Hay Alert website is not designed to collect and exchange payment, but rather it is a tool that allows farmers to list hay for sale or hay needed, with the goal of helping those with supply to connect with those in need. Other useful parts including a transportation section, “share the load” section, emergency equipment and services ads, and other information, all of which make this tool very useful for producers and their advisors to make sure their winter hay and feed needs are met.
Hay that was not flooded but that was stored outside and exposed to a lot of rain will in most cases not be a total loss. Pasture that was flooded might be a complete loss depending on the species and the time it was underwater. More detail about hay and pasture management following the flood can be found at the Amazing Grazing and the NC Forage Program websites.
If you are unsure how to calculate your hay needs N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents at our N.C. Cooperative Extension County Centers can help you with that. If you are in a hay deficit you can put a “hay wanted” ad on the Hay Alert Website, and can also look through the “hay for sale” section to see what is available in your area.
We will be monitoring the Hay Alert ads and will help when necessary, but the site is intended to be a farmer to farmer system. Likewise, if you have hay you would like to sell or donate you can list an ad in the hay for sale section. If you would like to assist farmers in need with donated hay or assistance by transporting hay to the affected areas, this site would be a good place to identify farmers who could use the help. You can watch later this summer and fall as farmers post their needs on the Hay Alert website and then reach out to those farmers directly to see how you might be of assistance.
Hay Alert is also a location you can place an ad if you wish to go help farmers with cleanup, fence repair, and other recovery activities. When you place an ad on Hay Alert there are options for “baled hay for sale,” “baled hay needed,” “standing hay for sale,” or “standing hay needed.” If you have experienced losses due to the storm using the text box in the ad to describe your need, as we will advise people with hay to donate to look at the site and find folks in need. One problem we have experienced in past emergency responses is the difficulty finding transportation for hay shipments. The transportation section gives contact information for transportation companies that are willing and ready to haul hay. If you don’t need a whole truckload of hay you can use the “share a load” ad to try to find other producers to split a load with you.
Keep in mind there is a lot of hay and other alternative sources of feed for livestock in the state that was not damaged by Florence. The Hay Alert website is an important starting point for you as you plan your winter hay needs. Take a look at that and contact your County N.C. Cooperative Extension office or another advisor to get help.