CFA’s Hay West program up and running

Program website now online

(GFM file photo)

A revival of the “Hay West” initiative, aimed at shipping feed from Eastern Canada to supplement drought-dented supplies in the West, has gone live.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture on Friday announced its Hay West 2021 initiative is “now operational and seeking applicants to both receive and supply hay.”

Applicants interested in either supplying or receiving hay via Hay West should visit the program website and provide details, the CFA said.

The Ottawa-based general farm organization said it has received enough contributions — including funding to cover freight costs — from “different parties” to begin moving substantial amounts of hay.

According to CFA representatives, those include financial donations from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Prince Edward Island government and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The CFA’s program had been on the drawing board since last month but awaited confirmation of sufficient funding to cover freight costs.

Expected demand means the Hay West program “cannot and does not guarantee the provision of hay,” the CFA said on the program’s website, but “best efforts will be made” to make hay available to applicants.

The 2021 program will operate on a break-even basis, buying hay from suppliers in the East for resale, at cost, to applicants in the West. The price will be 10 cents per pound for all hay supplied, the CFA said.

Round and square bales of “varying dimensions” will be supplied as available, and net weights of loads will be provided, the organization said.

Hay West follows a similar westbound drought relief effort launched in 2002, which in turn was reciprocated with a “Hay East” program to supply feed to drought-damaged regions of Eastern Canada in 2012.

“Farmers are donating thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars worth of hay to support those struggling from the drought,” CFA president Mary Robinson said in a release Friday.

“It’s incredibly heartening to see the response that we have from those farmers that have been more fortunate this year.”

The CFA’s Hay West program is not to be confused with a similar program recently launched by Mennonite Disaster Service, to move hay from Ontario to eligible producers in Saskatchewan. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

For more content related to drought management visit The Dry Times, where you can find a collection of stories from our family of publications as well as links to external resources to support your decisions through these difficult times.

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