Indiana livestock farmers running short of hay for their animals during the lingering drought have a new option for keeping their animals fed.
State officials said Wednesday that landowners with non-forested acreage enrolled in the state's Classified Forest and Wildlands Program can apply for a special permit to cut grasses and other plants on that land for hay.
DNR Director Rob Carter says the "unprecedented drought justifies a one-time special permit" to allow hay to be cut on a limited amount of land classified as wildlands. The state program is intended to promote good forestry and wildlife management.
Eligible landowners will be allowed to cut up to 10 percent or five acres of hay, whichever is less.
Landowners interested in obtaining a special permit should contact their district forester.