Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina. The words to this song are usually true, except when you are trying to make hay! Our summer months are typically the wettest of the year and here you are trying to make hay. The quality of the hay depends on many things, one of which is whether it was rained on or not.

Growth in the livestock and horse industries has created a demand for quality hay and has increased the interest in producing hay. The recent drought has shown how much hay is needed and how much producers depend on hay to get through the year. So every year there are new people entering the hay making business.

This generates many questions concerning what forages to plant, when to cut, what is the difference in the equipment out there.

Agents in eastern North Carolina responded to these questions by beginning the Hay Day event in 1996. This is a one-day event held every other year. This year the event will be on June 19. It will be held in Pitt County on one of Jerry Flanagan's farms.

The objective of the day is to:

  • Demonstrate the hay making equipment that is available in eastern North Carolina.

  • Provide educational topics that improve the knowledge of hay producers.

The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration. Demonstration of the equipment begins at 10:00 a.m.

At 11 a.m. the educational program will be presented. Our first speakers will be a panel made up of Karen McAdams, Matt Poore, Sue Ellen Johnson, and Jeff Carpenter. They will discuss drought experiences and what we have learned from the drought.

We will then introduce the new beef cattle specialist for eastern North Carolina, Gary Hansen, who will speak about early weaning of calves.

After lunch it will be time to bale hay.

The event will be held on King's Farm located on King's Farm Road. Directions from Hwy 264 are to take Wesley Church Rd. exit. Go two miles north to Hwy NC 121. Go one mile north on 121 to Seven Pines Rd. Turn left on Seven Pines Rd and go one mile to Kings Farm Rd. Turn left and look for Hay Day Entrance signs on the right.

If you have questions or need more details, contact the committee member nearest you: Gerda Rhodes (252-793-2163), Jeff Copeland (252-426-5428), Ralph Blalock (252-641-7815), Al Cochran (252-789-4370), Phillip Rowan (252-902-1703), Walter Earle (252-237-0111), or Gary Hansen (252-793-4428).

The agents have applied for credit hours for both animal waste operators and crop advisors. Come join us on Thursday, June 19!!