Hay Hotline Helps Kentucky Horse Owners in Search of Forage
RELEASE: July 19, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Bill Clary
Kentucky livestock producers and horse owners in need of hay can call the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s toll-free Hay Hotline to find farmers with hay to sell.
The Hay Hotline number is (888) 567-9589. Growers with hay to sell also may call the number. Producers who call the number to buy or sell will be listed on the Hay Hotline page on the Department’s website at www.kyagr.com.
“These services could make the difference between holding on to livestock or having to sell,” Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said. “The early April freeze and the recent drought together have greatly reduced Kentucky’s hay supply. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will do whatever we can to help farmers ride out this dry spell.”
The Department maintains a permanent online hay directory that lists hay for sale by county, relative feed value, bale size and type. The hay that is listed on the directory is tested for nutritional value. The Department performs the tests at a cost of $10 per sample.
The University of Kentucky has estimated forage losses in Kentucky due to the freeze and the drought at $45 million. Yields of first cuttings averaged about 50% of normal, according to University of Kentucky.
Tom Keene, hay specialist with the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, said some pastures have recovered slightly as more rain has fallen over much of the state in July, but there will be an ongoing need for forages until next spring. “It’s going to be a real challenge for producers to stretch their hay until we can make a new crop,” he said.
Keene said producers have numerous tools at their disposal to acquire hay and make it last, such as utilizing the Hay Hotline, storing hay properly and having hay tested. He said the Hay Hotline will be a “work in progress” with new features added over time.
To get to the Hay Hotline web page, go to www.kyagr.com
; click on the Programs menu at the top of the page, and click on Hay Hotline. To access the KDA’s hay directory, go to www.kyagr.com
; click on the Programs menu, and click on Hay for Sale (tested).
For forage information from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, go to www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage