Friday, December 07, 2007
by: The Associated Press
November 30 2007, Article # 10899
Agriculture experts around the country are warning hay farmers and buyers to watch for scams amid a feed shortage and resulting high prices.
In Washington, hay prices have passed $200 per ton in some areas, and winter is still weeks away. The state Department of Agriculture has already fielded 42 complaints about hay quality or nonpayment, with the value of disputed hay sales topping more than $190,000 this year.
"Any time we see something like this we get concerned," said Kirk Robinson, manager of the department's Commission Merchants Program. "It fluctuates from year to year, but we're just seeing more this year."
U.S. hay prices are the highest since record keeping began in 1949, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, opening the door for scammers to try to make a quick buck.
Les Wentworth is a third-generator farmer...