South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers remains in touch with officials to find solutions to the devastation caused by the current drought. At the same time, he is addressing one of the most pressing issues — the lack of hay for livestock.

Once again, he urges those who have hay for sale and those who need hay to visit the USDA Farm Service Agency eHayNet. The national Internet-based Hay Net Ad Service allows farmers in every state to share 'Need Hay' ads and 'Have Hay' ads online.

Commissioner Weathers also says that word-of-mouth is one of the best ways for finding hay. Check with local feed stores and Extension offices, other livestock owners, and hay brokers like Aiken Saddlery (803-649-6583) and East South Carolina Hay Distribution in Camden (803-432-5141). Cattle owners who have hay for sale or need hay may also want to network through Peter Wilkins, South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association (864-812-1837). The sister states of North Carolina and Georgia also have Web sites where owners may find hay. Visit the North Carolina Hay Alert at http://www.ncagr.com/HayAlert and the Georgia Farm Bureau Hay Directory at http://www.gfb.org/comm/hay.htm. Also, call Don Kieffer, National Hay Association, (800-707-0014 or 727-367-9702).

Hay may also be advertised in the South Carolina Department of Agriculture Market Bulletin. Send hay ads to: Advertising, Market Bulletin, P.O. Box 11280, Columbia, S.C. 29211 or email marketbulletin@scda.sc.gov, or fax to 803-734-0659.

Commissioner Weathers, urges livestock owners, especially horse owners, to call their vet before feeding their animals hay that they’ve never fed before. Feeding hay that animals are not accustomed to could sometimes cause problems and can possibly cause a horse to colic.

For more information about hay availability, contact or visit the resources listed below.

Hay resources for buyers and sellers:

Market Bulletin. Send hay ads to: Advertising, Market Bulletin, P.O. Box 11280, Columbia, S.C. 29211 or email marketbulletin@scda.sc.gov, or fax to 803-734-0659.

• USDA Farm Service Agency eHayNet — http://www.fsa.usda.gov, click on “Hay Net,” and follow the directions.

• Georgia Farm Bureau Hay Directory at http://www.gfb.org/comm/hay.htm.

• North Carolina Hay Alert at http://www.ncagr.com/HayAlert. ??

• Local feed stores and Extension offices.

• Other livestock owners.

• Hay brokers like Aiken Saddlery (803-649-6583) and East South Carolina Hay Distribution in Camden?(803-432-5141).

• Peter Wilkins, South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association (864-812-1837).

• Don Kieffer, National Hay Association, (800-707-0014 or 727-367-9702).