With the current dry condition across the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding farmers and ranchers that they can use the Hay Hotline, an online forum, to list their forage for sale or donation, and/or search listings for a variety of forage or pasture posted by other producers.
“Dry conditions seem to be persisting, so the need for hay and pasture will be on everyone’s minds,” said MDA Director Christy Clark. “Our Hay Hotline is a free online listing page to find hay or pasture or list a need for such. There is also an option to list donated hay if folks are in a position to help others out.”
Hay Hotline users enter their own listings and descriptions at agr.mt.gov/Hay-Hotline.
The online forum is maintained by the Montana Department of Agriculture as a service to the agricultural industry with the expectation that all buyers and sellers will treat each other in an equitable and lawful manner. MDA does not facilitate sales, nor does it make representations as to the amount, kind, or quality to hay listed by participants.
MDA reports hay shortages continue to stress farm and ranch operations across the state. The department is also reminding buyers and sellers of hay to be cognizant of the risk of fraud by considering bonds, insurance, or banking services to assist with large purchases or sales.
“Unfortunately, as hay prices rise, so does the risk of fraud. Producers may need to take additional steps to protect themselves from fraudsters,” said Cort Jensen, Chief Legal Counsel for MDA.