Local News

State Helping To Bring Together Hay Farmers, Buyers

Posted December 3, 2002 5:57 a.m. EST

— State officials are looking at how to distribute bales of hay across North Carolina.

Jeff Spedding grows about 1,500 bales of hay on his Duplin County farm. His product is desperately needed by farmers in other parts of North Carolina because of the statewide drought.

"As a farmer, there is a little bit of a brotherhood among us all and when one is having a tough time, the rest of us try to help out if we can," Spedding said. "Being able to irrigate, we were able to maintain pretty much a normal yield on our hay operation this year, even with the drought conditions."

Spedding and other eastern N.C. farmers have hay because they have hog farms. They spray the waste water onto crop land.

The problem is not finding the hay, but being able to move the massive amount of hay effeciently and effectively across the state in a short period of time. The state is helping hay buyers and sellers connect. More than 4,000 hay bales have already been moved on state trucks, but officials said they cannot keep up with the need.

"Today, we have over 4,300 rolls that have already been bargained for by the farmers in the western part of the state, and we are in dire need of the transportation resources to get that hay to those farmers as rapidly as possible," said Joe Readon, of the state Department of Agriculture.

With winter weather approaching, officials said cows will need even more feed. The state Department of Agriculture is asking anyone with a flat-bed truck who is willing to help out to contact them at

(888) 316-8451