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 Agriculture News


Much needed rainfall was received in North Dakota, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service....

    FARGO, N.D. - For the week ending July 23rd, much needed rainfall was received in North Dakota, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The amount of moisture received ranged from a quarter of an inch to two inches. However, much more is needed to help crop development, improve pasture conditions, and increase water supplies.

    Conditions have been favorable for spraying crops.

    Temperatures for the week averaged one to three degrees above normal in the east, while the west averaged three to five degrees above normal.

    There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork.

    Topsoil moisture supplies rated 31 percent very short, 36 short, 32 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 24 percent very short, 38 short, 37 adequate, and 1 surplus.

    Field Crops Report

    Corn condition rated 10 percent very poor, 13 poor, 33 fair, 41 good, and 3 excellent. Corn silking was 29 percent, behind 42 both last year and for the five-year average.

    Soybean condition rated 7 percent very poor, 16 poor, 36 fair, 39 good, and 2 excellent. Soybeans blooming was 65 percent, behind 79 last year and 75 average. Setting pods was 18 percent, behind 34 last year and 33 average.

    Winter wheat condition rated 19 percent very poor, 21 poor, 31 fair, 29 good, and 0 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was 91 percent, near 92 last year. Mature was 54 percent. Harvested was 12 percent, equal to last year.

    Spring wheat condition rated 19 percent very poor, 20 poor, 29 fair, 29 good, and 3 excellent. Spring wheat headed was 97 percent, near 98 last year and 93 average. Coloring was 56 percent, behind 69 last year, but ahead of 48 average.

    Barley condition rated 11 percent very poor, 15 poor, 34 fair, 37 good, and 3 excellent. Barley headed was 98 percent, equal to last year, but ahead of 93 average. Coloring was 71 percent, behind 83 last year, but ahead of 56 average. Mature was 16 percent.

    Oats condition rated 29 percent very poor, 25 poor, 29 fair, 16 good, and 1 excellent. Oats headed was 96 percent, near 97 last year and 92 average. Coloring was 67 percent, behind 75 last year, but ahead of 52 average. Mature was 25 percent. Harvested was 1 percent, well behind 23 last year, and behind 9 average.

    Sunflowers condition rated 19 percent very poor, 18 poor, 39 fair, 23 good, and 1 excellent. Sunflowers blooming was 15 percent, behind 21 last year, but near 14 average

    Dry edible beans condition rated 5 percent very poor, 15 poor, 30 fair, 42 good, and 8 excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 75 percent, near 71 last year, and ahead of 66 average.

    Durum wheat condition rated 13 percent very poor, 26 poor, 47 fair, 14 good, and 0 excellent. Durum wheat headed was 93 percent, near 95 last year, but ahead of 81 average. Coloring was 45 percent, near 49 last year, but ahead of 30 average.

    Canola condition rated 12 percent very poor, 19 poor, 33 fair, 35 good, and 1 excellent. Canola blooming was 98 percent. Coloring was 27 percent, well behind 47 last year, and behind 32 average.

    Flaxseed condition rated 19 percent very poor, 29 poor, 39 fair, 12 good, and 1 excellent. Flaxseed blooming was 90 percent, behind 96 last year, but near 87 average. Coloring was 24 percent, near 26 last year.

    Dry edible peas condition rated 13 percent very poor, 26 poor, 47 fair, 14 good, and 0 excellent. Dry edible peas blooming was 98 percent. Dropping leaves was 40 percent, behind 48 last year. Harvested was 3 percent, near 5 last year.

    Potato condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 21 fair, 53 good, and 18 excellent. Potatoes blooming was 77 percent, behind 96 last year and 86 average. Rows closed was 48 percent, behind 55 last year, but near 47 average.

    Alfalfa condition rated 46 percent very poor, 26 poor, 21 fair, 7 good, and 0 excellent. Alfalfa first cutting was 97 percent complete. Second cutting was 33 percent, near 37 last year.

    Sugarbeets condition rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 8 fair, 44 good, and 48 excellent.

    Pasture and Range Report

    Pasture and range conditions rated 44 percent very poor, 31 poor, 20 fair, 5 good, and 0 excellent.

    Stock water supplies rated 23 percent very short, 33 short, 43 adequate, and 1 surplus.

    BISMARCK, N.D. - With the drought and recent grass fires in the state, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring urges producers to be prepared in case of fire.

    "Working in the field during these conditions can be challenging, taxing producers and equipment," Goehring said. "I encourage producers who are haying or doing other work to be vigilant of their environment and to carry a fire extinguisher, water or a shovel with them at all times to try to quickly put out small fires if they occur."

    Goehring urged producers to call 911 immediately if a fire starts and to make a second call if the fire is able to be extinguished. He also asked them to work closely with their neighbors to protect their operations by helping each other monitor for smoke and fire.

    "In case of fire, responders will need clear, concise directions to the location as many field and bin sites do not have 911 addresses," Goehring said. "Identifying an intersection or landmark can help responders find the exact location."

    Goehring encouraged producers to check fire danger ratings and weather conditions frequently. Fire danger ratings may be found at; and weather and red flag warnings from the National Weather Service may be found at or depending on your area.

    For more information on preventing and reporting fires in your community, contact your local fire district.


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





    BISMARCK, N.D. - As part of ongoing efforts to help farmers and ranchers hit hard by extreme drought conditions, Gov. Doug Burgum has signed an executive order waiving fees for drivers of commercial vehicles hauling hay, water and livestock supplies in drought-affected counties of North Dakota.

    "Transportation costs are a major expense for ranchers being forced to move their livestock to non-drought areas or buy and haul hay from other counties and states, and this order aims to help defray those costs," Burgum said. "We're committed to leaving no stone unturned as we seek ways to ease the burden on our agricultural producers who form the bedrock of North Dakota's communities and economy."

    The fees waived by the order include the $50 seasonal hay hauling permit fee; $15 fuel permit fee; $20 trip permit fee; $20 oversize permit fee and a related $15 service fee; and the $35 interstate single-trip permit fee and $300 annual interstate permit fee.

    State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring had requested the fee waivers in a letter to the governor Thursday.

    "I appreciate these additional actions taken by Gov. Burgum to assist our agricultural producers in managing through this drought," Goehring said. "This further relief for truckers will provide assistance where it is needed."

    The executive order also permits the hauling of hay at night if loads are within a certain size and marked with proper lighting. State highways posted at 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight also have been increased to a legal gross weight of 105,500 pounds, provided all axle weights and bridge lengths are legal.

    This order supersedes an executive order issued by Burgum earlier this month related to hours of service and weight exemptions. The order now acts as the permit and must be carried in the vehicle of those operating in direct support of the declared drought emergency under the stated exemptions. A copy of the order is attached.

    The order will remain in effect until Aug. 10, at which point the 30-day hours of service waiver will be revisited and an extension may be sought.

    Those with questions about the permitting requirements and waivers are encouraged to contact the North Dakota Highway Patrol's permit office at (701) 328-2621.

    For additional information related to drought and wildfires, visit


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - State and federal aid is increasing for North Dakota farmers and ranchers dealing with drought. The federal Agriculture Department has authorized haying and grazing on additional Conservation Reserve Program acres in portions of not only North Dakota but also South Dakota and Montana. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cites "epic dry conditions" for the move.

    The federal government also is increasing staffing at Farm Service Agency offices in North Dakota to help with aid requests.

    North Dakota's Water Commission also has authorized more money for the state's Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply cost-share program. The state has now committed $825,000.

    Almost all of western North Dakota is in severe, extreme or exceptional drought. The federal government has declared numerous counties in the three-state region to be disaster areas.


     BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Federal officials say a punishing drought that stretches across much of the U.S. Northern Plains is expected to cause farmers to lose 64 million bushels of wheat production this year. The Billings Gazette reports that northeast Montana is experiencing the worst drought in the country, with similar dry conditions in neighboring North Dakota and South Dakota.
     Federal agriculture officials have labeled as poor or very poor more than half of Montana's 2017 crops of spring wheat, lentils and durum. Combined, the three crops were valued at more than $600 million in 2016.
     In the small town of Nashua on the edge of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation a scant 1.2 inches of rain have been recorded since April 1.



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


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