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Utility, Trucking Firm to Move Hay to Farms

Posted September 27, 2007

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— Duke Energy Corp. and West Brothers Transportation Services Inc. will donate trucking services to help North Carolina cattle farmers cope with a critical hay shortage caused by the ongoing drought, state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Thursday.

The companies have volunteered to haul loads of baled cornstalks from eastern North Carolina farms to western counties over the next four to five weeks. Each week, they will haul up to three loads, each containing 34 to 40 bales.

“One of the challenges we’re facing is the cost of transporting hay and alternative feeds to livestock producers across the state," Troxler said in a statement. "Fortunately, these companies care enough to donate their resources and time to making a difference for our farmers.”

Trucks from West Brothers picked up the first load at Boseman Farms in Battleboro on Wednesday and took it to Duke Energy’s warehouse in Durham. Duke Energy tractor-trailers will deliver the bales to the Caldwell County Fairgrounds in Lenoir on Friday, where farmers will be able to buy them.

Reports from farmers indicate that the state’s hay shortage could be as high as 800,000 round bales, forcing farmers to seek other options for feeding cattle through the winter.

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