As changing drought conditions continue to impact North Dakota's producers, my office stands ready to provide assistance and information.
Read below for contact information, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions.
North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has reactivated the Drought Hotline and interactive hay map. First activated in 2017, the hotline and map are available for ranchers affected by the drought.
The interactive hay map is available at www.nd.gov/ndda. Users may click on the icons to retrieve information about available hay, pasture and hayland in their area
Information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found here.
On April 8, 2021, Governor Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Goehring announced the State Water Commission reactivated the Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Project Assistance Program. The program provides eligible livestock producers with 50 percent cost-share assistance of up to $4,500 per project, with a limit of three projects per applicant. Eligible projects include new water wells, rural water system connections, pipeline extensions, pasture taps and associated works, labor, materials, and equipment rentals to develop new water supply projects. Livestock producers in counties impacted by extreme drought (D3) intensity levels, and adjacent counties, will be eligible for the program. More information on the program is available here.
Under abnormally dry conditions, USDA-FSA can authorize emergency haying and grazing of eligible conservation reserve program (CRP) acres to alleviate a shortfall of forage, generally outside the Primary Nesting Season (PNS) for certain wildlife. In North Dakota, the PNS is April 15 - August 1.
Like all Farm Bill programs, the potential for emergency haying and grazing is only meant as a lifeline for livestock producers. Under the direction of President Trump, USDA streamlined emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres to reasonably meet the needs of cattle producers without distorting the market hay producers need.
Information on emergency haying and grazing on eligible CRP acres, including ineligible acres, is available here.
LFP makes payments to livestock producers who suffer losses on drought-affected pastureland. Payments are triggered by the drought intensity level and duration of drought for an individual county, as published in the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Below is the table for the Livestock Forage Program:
ELAP provides payments to producers of livestock as compensation for losses due to adverse weather, feed or water shortages, or other conditions that are not covered under LFP. For drought purposes, ELAP can help cover losses resulting from the additional cost of transporting water to livestock due to an eligible drought.
ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
Contact your AIP (agent) before putting spring-planted crop acres to another use such as harvesting for silage, diverting irrigation water, destroying the crop, or abandoning the acres. Notice of damage must be given within 72 hours of the initial discovery of damage or loss of production, but not later than 15 days after the end of the insurance period, even if the crop has not been harvested. It is very important to work closely with your AIP before making any changes to the care of the insured crop. The AIP must have a chance to appraise and release the acres before the crop is put to another use, destroyed, or abandoned. If an accurate appraisal cannot be made, or you disagree with the appraisal at the time acreage is to be destroyed or no longer cared for, you and the AIP can select representative sample areas of the crop to be left intact for future appraisal purposes. In this case, the representative sample areas must continue to be cared for, with the exception of irrigation, until the final appraisal can be made.
Crops that have been damaged and will be taken to harvest must be cared for and maintained using generally recognized good farming practices. Agricultural experts in the area can advise on farming practices required to maintain the production in the field and to help protect the crop from further damage. With the AIP's agreement, you may destroy or abandon the crop and leave representative sample areas in accordance with paragraph 88 of the Loss Adjustment Manual (LAM). The representative sample areas must be maintained as if the entire crop was left intact until the AIP conducts a final inspection and releases the representative sample areas. Failure to properly maintain the crop following damage could result in a determination that the cause of loss was not covered and, therefore, no claim payment is due.
Senator Cramer's Office: Minot, North Dakota (701) 837-6141 or Washington, D.C. (202) 224-2043