Farmers want more flexibility in dealing with drought

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota agriculture officials are asking the federal government to give farmers and ranchers more flexibility in dealing with drought conditions that have parched the state.

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor map shows exceptional drought, the worst of four categories, covers about 18% of the state.

The next category, extreme drought, blankets another 46% of North Dakota.

All of the state is in some form of drought.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring wants federal permission to let farmers plant cover crops on land they can’t use for cash crops.

The government typically doesn’t allow farmers to collect a crop insurance payment while also profiting from a cover crop.

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