Illinois Market News Service Offers Free Hay Directory
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Whether buying or selling, the Illinois Department of Agriculture can help consumers who are in the market for hay. Since 2007, its Market News Service has offered an internet-based Hay Directory, an interactive website for buyers and sellers of hay and straw to post ads and fill their needs. The directory is located on the department’s website, www.agr.state.il.us, under “Consumers” at the top of the homepage. “The site contains leads to help producers find supplies of alfalfa, alfalfa-mixed and grass hay,” Market News reporter Jerry Millburg said. “Supplies of wheat straw also can be found on the hay directory, and even supplies of organic hay and straw.” The directory is free and easy to use. Producers who have hay or straw to sell, for example, just need to click on the “List an Ad” button. The site then will lead them through the process of creating an individualized ad that can be revised at any time. Buyers have the option of either responding directly to an ad posted on the site or creating a listing of their own announcing their intention to buy. “This directory is a valuable resource, especially when hay is in short supply,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “The directory gives producers a place to turn when they can’t find a local supplier.”
Why plant a rain garden?
A rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. The garden should be positioned near a runoff source like a downspout, or driveway to capture rainwater runoff and stop the water and pollutants from reaching the sewer system. Storm water (rain or melting snow) runs off roofs, driveways and other impervious surfaces. This water flows directly to streets, down the storm drains and right into rivers and lakes. Storm water runoff is untreated and carries pollutants like oil, salt, fertilizer, pesticides, pet waste, transportation chemicals, and soil sediment into water sources. Rain gardens capture runoff carrying pollutants that contaminate our waterways. The water then infiltrates deep into the ground so that it can be used by the nearby plants. Native plants have deep roots that help to soak up the water, break up hard soil, and permeate water and nutrients deep into the soil. In addition of the improvement in water quality, rain gardens also provide habitat for birds and beneficial insects, reduce pest and harmful insects, and can be used to teach children and adults about the water quality practices. The Coles Co. SWCD is selling a large variety of native plants through May 16th that can be used to create a rain garden through May 16. Order forms are available at the office located at 6021 Development Drive, Charleston, Illinois. In addition of native plants, resources are also available to assist landowners with planning a rain garden. The Coles Co. SWCD is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. You can contact the office at 217 345-3901 ext. 3.