With the entire state experiencing severe to exceptional drought, North Carolina farmers are moving hay and alternative forages to feed their livestock. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services cautions farmers to take steps to reduce the risk of moving unwanted plant pests with hay or alternative feeds.
Areas of North Carolina are under quarantine for fire ants and weeds such as witchweed, and permits or certificates are required for moving hay and forage from these areas.
Hay and forage from outside North Carolina also must be accompanied by a certificate or permit issued by an authorized agriculture department representative in the state of origin. The document must certify the material is free of plant pests such as fire ants, other insects and noxious weeds.
Farmers should contact the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division at (919) 733-6932 or toll-free, 1-800-206-9333, before moving hay and forage. A plant pest specialist may need to visit the farm to inspect the forage.
For county-by-county information about pests and quarantines, logon to www.ncagr.com/plantindustry/plant/quaran/table2.htm.