Hay Imported From a “Red” County Must Be Inspected

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Fireant Infected CountiesMany livestock owners are buying hay now that it’s been harvested. Before importing hay from a county that is colored in red in the Fire Ant Importation Map , the hay must be inspected for Fire Ants by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). According to them, “residents and business owners in those (red) counties will now need to obtain a permit before moving plants, sod, and related equipment into or through non-infested areas. Certificates can be obtained from a local plant protection specialist or by contacting the Plant Protection Section at 800-206-9333 or 919-707-3730.”

Items requiring a permit include sod, soil, hay and straw, nursery stock, logs or pulpwood with soil, and soil-moving equipment. There are some expectations listed at: http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/Plant/entomology/documents/Baled-Hay.pdf

“Failure to obtain the needed inspections and certifications may result in the issuance of a stop-sale notice and rejection or destruction of the regulated article,” said Vernon Cox, director of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division. “Because fire ants can be harmful to humans and livestock, we remain focused on slowing down the fire ant movement into non-infested areas of the state.” At this time, there are no known infestations of fire ants in Forsyth County. You can learn to identify fire ants, and how to control them in pastures at Fire Ants in Pastures. Additionally, you can watch this presentation on “Managing Fire Ants in Pastures” from Dr. Wes Watson, Professor and Extension Specialist (Livestock & Poultry), Entomology & Plant Pathology YouTube Recording.

For more information about fire ants in pastures contact, April Bowman, Extension Agent, Livestock, Forages, and 4-H Youth Development at awbowman@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2855.

For more information about fire ants in nursery products contact, Leslie Peck, Extension Horticulture Agent, Director of the Arboretum at Tanglewood Park at lkpeck@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2868.