Dickinson farmer feels the burden of a long drought season


One Dickinson rancher wonders if it is too late in the year to recover from the drought.

The town”s rain totals are way below what it’s used to this time of the year.

In the town, the drought conditions might be effecting everyone’s good time with the restrictions on fireworks, charcoal pits, and campfire stories, due to the burn ban.

But for rural cattle ranchers like Laudie Privatsky it’s more personal.

As he he looks at patch of  his land inside his truck, he says” See how brown it is . . . that’s beyond help”.

The drought conditions are so severe that it has cut his hay production almost in half.

“It had good production last year, but this year I’m afraid its less than half. A little rain would do it I guess? It might perk it up little bit. Far as tonnage, I don’t think we are going to do to good this year,” say Privatsky.

Mr. Privatsky’s says his fields grow to be knee high this time in the season for hay and grazing. With the lack of rain, he wonders when the fields will be able to rebound.

“Good rains could turn it around. It’s getting a little late. I’m afraid it might not make it,” says Privatsky.

Dickinson received more than 55 inches of snow this winter, but Mr. Privatsky says that is not enough to make up for the lack of rain.

“No the 55 inches of snow that kind of went down the creeks and behind the hills, and in the yards. It didn’t do that much good,” says Privatsky.

He says he rely on the federal CRP program for now to supply hay to his cattle, but not to worry farmers are tough people.

“Farmers have a way. we survive in worst conditions.,” says Privatsky.

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