By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor
This is not your typical bail out, but it is a “bale out” designed to help parts of Texas and Oklahoma get through one of the worst single-year droughts in recorded history.
Truckers, farmers and a growing community from far and wide are pitching in to help ranchers who are out of feed for their livestock and horses because of the ongoing extreme drought and widespread wildfires.
The Indiana Motor Truck Association announced that seven flatbeds from among its members would be loaded with hay donated by Indiana farmers and shipped to needed areas. Those trucks are scheduled to convoy to Terrell, TX, on Thursday, Oct. 13, where the hay will be distributed.
Farmers and truckers from Tennessee chipped in the past few weeks to help Oklahoma ranchers with hay, and loads continued to arrive from Wisconsin, Alabama and other states that yielded enough to share.
Agricultural losses in the Lone Star State have already topped $5 billion according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
On Oct. 1, Texas Gov. Rick Perry renewed a previous disaster proclamation which suspends certain trucking restrictions related to hay transport.
The Texas Department of Agriculture is doing its best to connect those who have hay with those who do not. Visit gotexan.org/HayhotlineHome.aspx for more information, call the hay hotline at 877-429-1998, or send an email to HayHotline@TexasAgriculture.gov.
Other states have temporarily lifted permit requirements to assist in the effort, as well. Alabama, for example, issued special hay-hauling permits to deliver feed to Texas.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin recently extended an executive order that lifts permit requirements for hay haulers.
“Due to severe drought conditions occurring statewide it is necessary to expedite access to hay for livestock,” Fallin stated in the order.
If you are hauling hay to drought-affected areas, join in our discussion on Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land Line Now Staff Reporter Reed Black contributed to this report.
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