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Red River Farm Network reports:

This past week, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring got a first-hand look at the drought conditions. Goehring says there was a four-to-five inch rainfall deficit from March 10-to-June 10 in central North Dakota.

"It is heart-breaking to see livestock producers lined up for almost a mile at auction markets. They're selling their genetics and there is nothing more devastating for them."

There have been calls to open CRP to early haying and grazing. That request is complicated by bureaucratic red tape. Even if the criteria was met to open CRP ground to haying and grazing, the amount of quality forage is limited by the drought.

Goehring says many North Dakota ranchers donated hay this spring to those producers impacted by the wildfires in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Ironically, those same ranchers are now short on feed and are being forced to liquidate a portion of their cattle herd.

The drought hotline has been activated. Calls can be taken at 701-425-8454

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