Hay Shipments and Fire Ants
John Jennings – Professor Animal Science
Many producers from SE states are offering hay for sale to help AR producers through the drought and I have sent you contact information from a couple of those producers. However, MS, AL, LA, and most of TX are in fire ant quarantined areas. But with that said, much of Arkansas is quarantined as well. Dr. Kelly Loftin provided the following information regarding hay from fire ant quarantine areas:
Hay from quarantined areas (outside and within Arkansas) can be shipped without restriction to quarantined areas (within Arkansas) . The issue would be shipment from quarantined areas (within or outside Arkansas) to non-quarantined areas. Any hay from a quarantined area (within or outside the state) going to a non-quarantined area must be certified before it can be shipped. To be certified it must be fire ant free and have been stored properly (not stored on the ground).
This link shows fire ant quarantine restrictions- click here This has an interactive function that allows you to use zip codes to determine if an area is quarantined anywhere in the nation.
Terry Walker at the Arkansas State Plant Board or Paul Shell (also with the Arkansas State Plant Board) will help facilitate the movement of hay (hay that is eligible for shipment and certified for shipment) from these states. Terry just mentioned that his counterpart in Mississippi just certified one eligible load of hay from Mississippi destined for an area north of Russellville (which is not quarantined). This is very encouraging and shows that the regulatory agencies are trying to do what is necessary to accommodate hay shipments and prevent fire ant spread.
Dr. Loftin’s advice is for Arkansas producers (from non-quarantined counties) to ask if the hay has been certified for shipment. For help with quarantine issues, he recommends calling either Terry Walker or Paul Shell at the State Plant Board (501 225-1598). Certification is very critical because even if the hay has been stored properly but has not been certified it could be turned back. You probably remember, we (Arkansas) had hay turned back from Tennessee a few years back because it had not been certified (and I believe some of this hay was fire ant infested).
A current map is attached along with guidelines for storing hay for shipment from quarantined areas.
Click here – How to prevent fire ants in hay storage
Click here for Fireant quarantine map