Farmers who produce hay and straw are encouraged to register on the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory, a free service of the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The directory lists Iowa farmers with hay and straw for sale, as well as organizations and businesses associated with promoting and marketing quality hay and straw.
"This directory helps potential buyers locate Iowa growers that can possibly meet their hay and straw needs," says Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture. "I encourage farmers to take full advantage of this free service so buyers will be better able to locate the quality hay and straw we have available in Iowa."
Listing includes both buyers and sellers
The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation, however only sellers from within Iowa are included on the list.
Names are gathered throughout the year with added emphasis now after the first cutting hay harvest is completed. Sections within the Hay and Straw Directory include "Forage for Sale," "Forage Auctions," "Hay Associations," "Forage Dealers," "Hay Grinders" and "Custom Balers."
Farmers interested in listing should visit the department's Web site at www.IowaAgriculture.gov. An application form can be found by going to the "Bureaus" link and then selecting "Agricultural Marketing." Then click on "Hay & Straw Directory" link at the bottom of the page.
Also take advantage of weed-free program
For those without internet access, call the Hay/Straw Hotline at 800-383-5079. The department will fax or send a printed copy of the application to be filled out.
"The wet weather this year has certainly impacted the hay crop in 2008, so this directory is a good opportunity for producers to let folks know that they have hay or straw to sell," notes Northey.
The department is also supporting the Iowa Crop Improvement Association's "Iowa Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage and Mulch Certification Program." Through this program Iowa forage and mulch producers can take advantage of many emerging market opportunities for "Certified Weed Free" products. For more specific information on this program producers should contact the Iowa Crop Improvement Association at 515-294-6921. More information can also be found by visiting www.agron.iastate.edu.