North Dakota asks feds to help ranchers during continuing drought

State News

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Amid a deepening drought, North Dakota’s top agriculture official is asking the federal government to allow ranchers to hay idled grassland earlier than usual — while it’s still of good quality.

The federal government is allowing limited emergency grazing of Conservation Reserve Program land. But North Dakota ranchers say if they aren’t allowed to hay that land until Aug. 1, the grass might not be of good enough nutritional quality to hay.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map that came out Thursday shows all of North Dakota is in some form of drought, with more than 40% of the state in extreme drought.

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