The dry weather this season has caused many concerns, especially for farmers in the upcoming planting season.

Weekly reports by the National Agricultural Statistics Service indicate very small amounts of oats, spring wheat and barley are being planted in the region.

Conditions in western North Dakota have been dry since the summer of 2020. Pastures not greening up and gaining nutrients and crops not germinating are two worries in the agricultural community.

Paige Brummund of the NDSU Ward County Extension Center says water for livestock is another concern because it can become contaminated.

She said, “It’s also causing an issue with water quality. Those waters tend to be higher in total dissolved solids and higher in sulfates, which can be fatal to livestock.”

Brummund encourages producers to monitor water quality for livestock, and to test it regularly.

Western North Dakota is one of the hardest hit areas by drought in the nation.