Local News

Drought Could Make Hay Toxic for Animals

Posted July 19, 2007

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— Dry conditions across the state could pose a serious threat for farmers, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The department found high levels of nitrates in hay samples, which could make the hay deadly for farm animals.

Symptoms of nitrate poisoning range from respiratory distress to a weak or rapid heart beat to low body temperature. Toxic levels could result in death within two hours, officials said.


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  • k9sandQtrs Jul 20, 2007

    I agree about the lack of info - all this article does is stress out horse owners more than they already are. Someone posted quite a bit of information yesterday on www. nchorsenews. com (remove the spaces)

  • 3potato4 Jul 20, 2007

    Thanks Ric and Shine, you can be sure I'll check out these sites and check with my Ag Agent. We have a super Ag Agent here in Harnett County, Gary Pierce, and I'm counting on him to share any information on this. Hopefully there will be a follow up to this article giving more detail as well.

  • 1Moms_View Jul 20, 2007

    Very poorly researched and written article. Much information was left out.

  • shine Jul 19, 2007

    This is a very non descriptive story. Is it Bermuda - is it clover or what kind of hay? What animals has it affected? What counties did the high levels of Nitrates show up that were found? This just causes a scare to those feeding hay without giving out any information. Call your county extension agent or the Dept. of Agriculture. This is a weak article but one that could be damaging without proper information.

  • Ric The Red Neck Smithfield NC Jul 19, 2007

    Gingerleigh225 try the below links.

    AHow can I tell if my hay is safe to feed?@ AI can=t ... In situations where high nitrate levels are suspected in forages, producers should conduct ...


  • 3potato4 Jul 19, 2007

    How do you know that you have the hay with the higher nitrates as far as looking at it? Or smelling it? It would be nice to know more to this story as far as what, if anything, we can do to recognize this. One of my horses is over 30 years old and I'm imagining the worse for the poor old guy. Guess I'll research with my feed guy and the vet.
    Short note to the author of this article...the hay is not posing a threat to the farmers, it's posing a threat to my animals.

  • Michael Kenyon Jul 19, 2007

    Erg! Poor horses, and poor farmers :*(