Dairy operators in two drought-stricken Midwestern states have issued pleas for Utah hay.

DeeVon Bailey, Utah State University Extension economist, said he has been contacted by an extension economist at Purdue University in Indiana and a hay broker in Illinois, both asking for a list of Utah hay producers willing to sell their hay.Bailey said the severe drought has pinched Midwest hay supplies. "They would prefer top-quality dairy hay, but they'll really take about anything they can get, including straw. There is some urgency to getting hay back there now."

Bailey said good-quality dairy hay is bringing $150 to $160 a ton when delivered to the two states. With Utah hay selling for around $60 to $70 a ton, he said, the price in Illinois and Indiana should provide a large enough margin to cover shipping costs and give the seller a profit.

"All we're doing is providing a list of Utah sellers," Bailey said. "Individual contacts and negotiations will be made by individual buyers and sellers."

Hay producers who want to be put on the list should contact Bailey at 750-2316, Heidi Hillstead at 750-2326 or their local USU Extension county agent.