Ap­peal for hay

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

Refuge RR for Horses is send­ing out an SOS for do­na­tions as the non-profit an­i­mal res­cue or­ga­ni­za­tion strug­gles to get enough hay.

Refuge RR (Res­cue, Re­ha­bil­i­tate), lo­cated be­tween Alexan­dria and Glen Robert­son, needs about 28,000 pounds of hay a week to feed its 92 res­cued horses, cows, goats and sheep.

“Around here there is noth­ing,” said pres­i­dent Rose Gergely. “We haven’t had enough rain this year so no­body has enough hay to sup­ply.” The char­ity fi­nally found a sup­plier farther away but is pay­ing high costs for the prod­uct and de­liv­ery. “Now it’s just a ques­tion of find­ing the fund­ing to get it here,” said Ms. Gergely.

“We have been told by all the hay deal­ers that be­cause of the Spring drought, there is half the amount of hay and it will cost dou­ble the price,” stated the refuge. “We are barely able to keep up to our $1,650 weekly for our hay and now with the price ris­ing, it will make it im­pos­si­ble to feed them.”

Hay that would nor­mally cost about $35 to $55 per 800-lb. bale now costs $85. “Ev­ery­one I talked with in the area told me they don’t have enough hay,” added Ms. Gergely. “Some are even think­ing about get­ting rid of their own cows be­cause they don’t have enough to feed them.” The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s reg­u­lar lo­cal sup­plier ini­tially had just enough hay to last Refuge RR for a few months, but about two weeks ago he lost what hay he had left in a barn fire. Now Refuge RR is strug­gling to meet its needs.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also has to plan for the fu­ture since it will need to pur­chase enough hay to last un­til next Spring, 2017.

In­di­vid­u­als can do­nate on­line to help Refuge RR for Horses at: refugerr.org/Howto-help

The drought has also im­pacted crop farm­ers, many of whom have been re­ly­ing on ir­ri­ga­tion to help their crops sur­vive the drought. Some re­lief came on the week­end, how­ever, many pro­duc­ers are con­cerned about the qual­ity of their har­vests.

Ir­ri­ga­tion helps

Alexan­dria-area pro­ducer Marc Just grows about 75 acres of pro­duce at his farm, in­clud­ing field toma­toes, straw­ber­ries, sweet corn, pota­toes, zuc­chini, onions and leeks.

He said last week that dry con­di­tions “are a ma­jor con­cern” this year. “We are los­ing a lot of sleep over that.” He has been fo­cus­ing on in­ten­sive ir­ri­gat­ing to help his pro­duce sur­vive.

At Avon­more Berry Farm, co-owner David Phillips re­lated con­di­tions are “very dry, and crops are start­ing to suf­fer be­cause of the drought.”

He grows 200 acres of veg­eta­bles, fruit, beans and wheat for cash crop. He has been man­ag­ing by ir­ri­gat­ing the fruits and veg­eta­bles twice a week us­ing wa­ter from a nearby pond. Mr. Phillips is mostly con­cerned about his well.

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