Please release CRP acres! That was the message in North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring’s letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to help North Dakota ranchers due to the severity of the ongoing drought conditions in the state.
“Lack of measurable spring rains since early March combined with above average temperatures and wind have caused drought conditions across the state in varying degrees,” Goehring said. “This cut forage production dramatically for livestock producers who depend on the early season development that makes up the majority of the hay crop and pasture growth.”
In a letter to Secretary Perdue, Goehring outlined the desperate need for the opening of CRP acres to emergency haying and grazing.
“Our ultimate goal is to help provide our livestock community with as many options as possible to secure grazing for the remainder of the summer, as well as securing a feed source to carry them through the winter,” Goehring said.
Based on the latest crop progress report put out by the USDA for the week ending June 18, North Dakota’s topsoil moisture supplies were rated at 43 percent short to very short. Pasture and range conditions were rated 82 percent fair to very poor.
A free drought hotline and interactive map have been set up by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) for ranchers who need hay, or those with hay to sell or with pasture or hayland to rent. Individuals who are available to move hay are also encouraged to contact the hotline. To contact the Drought Hotline, call 701-425-8454 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.