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 Agriculture News


The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that most of the Dakotas are experiencing drought conditions that are harming farmers and cattle producers....

     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that most of the Dakotas are experiencing drought conditions that are harming farmers and cattle producers. The latest information released Thursday shows that about 87 percent of North Dakota is in drought, while just over half of South Dakota is experiencing drought conditions. Roughly 700,000 people across both states are living in drought areas. The parched conditions have expanded and deteriorated compared to last week.
     South Dakota State University Extension State Climatologist Laura Edwards says she's heard of feed shortages in the state causing cattle sales that will likely continue. She says also that there have been significant winter wheat losses in central South Dakota. Edwards says she doesn't anticipate conditions will improve in the near term.


      BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota ranchers hit by drought now have a new hotline they can call for help. State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced the hay hotline on Wednesday.
     Goehring says ranchers who need hay - or have hay to sell or pasture or hay land to rent - can call 701-425-8454. People who are available to move hay also are encouraged to call the hotline. People who call the hotline will provide their name, contact information and what they need or can provide. They will be entered into the Drought Hotline database to be matched up with others.
     North Dakota Department of Agriculture employees will answer the hotline weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Callers also can leave a message on evenings and weekends. The service is free.


     MANDAN, N.D. (AP) - Ranchers are bringing more cattle to auction with 25 percent of North Dakota in a moderate drought. Kist Livestock Auction field man Matt Lachenmeier says the Mandan business has handled about 1,000 to 1,300 more animals than is typical for this time of the year.
     The Bismarck Tribune says a tough winter has depleted the hay supply with a poor outlook for a good crop this summer.  Lachenmeier says the cattle brought to auction are from a widespread area. He says other sales barns across the state are also seeing increased sales.
     The U.S. Drought Monitor says North Dakota has had below average precipitation during the past three months. Portions of central and south-central Dakota have gotten 25 percent to 50 percent of normal precipitation during the period.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)




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