The Tennessee Hay Directory is now available via the Internet at picktnproducts.org or in print through local Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation offices.

The annual Tennessee Hay Directory is a listing of hay producers across the state and traditionally provides information by county and by farmer including hay type, quantity and whether the hay is available in round or square bales.

According to Margie Hunter, specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the directory could help some Tennessee livestock producers offset the effects of a dry summer which has left pastures over-grazed and too little hay in the barn for the coming winter.

“Governor Bredesen has requested and several counties have been approved for federal farm assistance due to extremely hot and dry conditions,” says Hunter. “Drought conditions have especially impacted pastures and hay production in these areas.”

Currently, the 2006 hay crop in Tennessee is estimated to be about 3.96 millions tons, down from 4.25 million in 2005.

“There are producers in these drought affected counties who are already feeding out hay to their livestock,” says Hunter. “Some are selling off animals rather than try to find enough hay for the fall and winter.

“With fuel prices the way they are, nobody’s anxious to drive two states over to pick up or deliver hay, so finding people who are relatively close to you who have hay to sell is more important than ever. That makes this year’s directory an especially good tool to have,” says the specialist.

Producers listed in the directory may also list hay quality, including percent of dry matter, protein and estimated total digestible nutrients (TDN). Any tested hay must be tested through the University of Tennessee Extension office. Farmers who list test results show potential buyers the high quality of their hay and allows buyers to match hay to their animals’ needs, says Hunter.

Farmers with hay available may place information in the directory by contacting Hunter at (615) 837-5323 or calling their local Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation offices.

The statewide information is then accessible electronically at Farm Bureau offices or by visiting the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Market Development Web site at picktnproducts.org and clicking on “Farm & Animals.”

The “Tennessee Hay Directory” is maintained as a cooperative service of TDA’s Market Development Division and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.

“The directory is actually printed in two separate printings to better accommodate both buyers and sellers,” said Hunter. “The first printing is completed, but hay producers who wish to participate in the directory still have two ways to be included. As soon as a producer gives us the information, that listing can go up on the Web site, and then, when the second printing of the directory comes out in November, the new listings will be included there.”

For more information or for a printed copy of the directory, call TDA’s Market Development Division at (615) 837-5555.