The combination of drought conditions and fires in southwestern South Dakota mean hay is short in some areas. County extension offices in western South Dakota are now operating a Drought Relief Hay Exchange to connect those who have feed to sell with those who need to buy it. Adele Gelvin, Haakon-Jackson County extension livestock educator, says the service will start immediately. Extension offices in the area will compile a list of resources. The focus counties in need of hay are Shannon, Fall River and Custer. Once buyers and sellers have made contact, it's up to them to negotiate prices for themselves.

South Dakota extension offices are offering more information. In addition, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension Service operate an Internet-based service called FeedFinder.

Those who have hay or other feeds for sale or pasture for lease can access the site online at sdces.sdstate.edu/drought. Click on the FeedFinder logo.