LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- This year's harsh winter may force some Nebraska ranchers to start using hay for feed much sooner than usual.

Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach says ranchers should remember the state hay and forage hotline if they do need feed because the hotline can help them find available hay.

Plus, farmers with hay available to sell can use the hotline to advertise their hay.

Ibach says the free hotline was set up in 2002 because drought conditions made hay hard to find.

Farmers and ranchers interested in using the hotline should call 1-800-422-6692. Additional information about the hotline is available on the department's Web site,

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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