West Virginia officials are warning farmers about the possibility that their hay could be contaminated by recent flooding.
The state Agriculture Department said in a news release feeding contaminated hay to animals can be dangerous.
The agency said forages that are affected by flood waters become contaminated with soil, bacteria and debris. Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt recommends that farmers make sure they know where hay comes from before buying it.
The department said not to feed bales that aren't sealed on both ends and said some individually plastic-wrapped baleage may be usable. Farmers should closely inspect bales for punctures or separation of plastic layers. If the plastic separates, discard the forage. If it remains intact until feeding, inspect for abnormal smells or colors and presence of molds or excess moisture.