Harsh weather in North Carolina this fall has prompted the state agriculture department to reactivate a website to help connect those who need hay for their livestock with those who have it.
The Hay Alert website, www.ncagr.gov/hayalert, was created during a drought in 2002 and used again in 2007. It is being revived because of a severe drought in parts of Western North Carolina and damage by wind and flooding from Hurricane Matthew in the east.
The website works like Craigslist, where farmers can post ads indicating they need hay or have hay for sale. The sales will take place off-line, and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services won’t be involved beyond hosting the website.
“We’re trying to help farmers meet the needs for livestock and horses this winter,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement. “Earlier this fall, we expected to have eastern hay to fill the void in the west, but the flood has ruined so much of the eastern crop. We encourage farmers to go ahead and start securing their hay for the winter.”