Watch out for “less-than-ethical operators” when making transactions on Canadian hay, warns the Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA). “Our Canadian hay marketers are continuing to see a surge in demand for their products and, unfortunately, some less-than-successful outcomes," according to a press release just issued by the group.

"We have been advised of several situations whereby large deposits had been paid, but the hay was not delivered, and a couple of situations where the delivered hay was not of the quality that was agreed upon. We urge buyers and sellers to take steps to ensure that the buying and selling of their quality forage products are done in a fair and equitable manner benefiting both parties.”

Ask yourself the following questions as you consider buying or selling hay, according to CFGA:

• Have you bought from or sold hay to this person or entity before? If not, are you able to obtain at least two independent references for the company or individual to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable entity? “Remember the old adage: ‘If it appears to be too good to be true – it probably is.’ ”

• Has the hay been analyzed, and is the analysis information available? Is the hay free of mold, and do you know the moisture content? Do you have some way to visually inspect the hay?

• Are you buying from members of the CFGA, who have agreed to the Code of Ethics of the CFGA? For a list of members, visit here.

Anyone with concerns about the buying or selling of Canadian hay products can ask for help through the CFGA Web site.