Congressional delegation asks federal Ag Department for help

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s congressional delegation is asking the federal Agriculture Department to help out farmers and ranchers in the state dealing with drought.
   Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer have asked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to allow emergency haying of grassland enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program.
   The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows all of North Dakota being either abnormally dry or in some stage of drought, with more than one-fourth of the state in severe drought.
   The weekly crop report from the Agriculture Department says more than half of the state’s pasture land and more than half of the alfalfa hay crop are considered in poor or very poor shape.

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