Want Hay in North Carolina? Get a Number

chicken nais

Last year was the driest in the history of North Carolina. And the prediction is for a dry winter and spring and summer.

As local water systems scramble to plug leaks and stem use, North Carolina is offering farmers a break on hay imported from wetter climes. Only, the state rescue comes with a catch. In order to qualify for the North Carolina Emergency Hay Program, farmers must first register with the state and get a premises identification number.

Landowners throughout the US have been fighting a federal effort to register every farm under the National Animal Identification System. (See Yonder stories here and here .) Now in order to pick up small square bales for $7 to $8 for hungry livestock, North Carolina is forcing farmers to join the system.

The North Carolina program is already drawing protest from the anti-NAIS crowd .