Drought Conditions Hitting Farmers and Ranchers Hard Across the Region

A farm in Leonard is suffering from drought conditions

LEONARD, ND — Due to severe drought conditions in portions of the state, North Dakota lawmakers announced farmers and ranchers will receive emergency grazing acres.

Drought conditions are affecting nearly a third of North Dakota.

That’s a concern for Leonard farmer, Mark Nesemeier.

“We have some subtle moisture, but we do have some late planted crops that had trouble coming up because of the drought,” said Nesemeier, who is also the director of the Cass County Farmer’s Union.

He says so far, his soybeans, corn and alfalfa have been suffering due to the lack of rainfall.

“We’ve gotten one or two showers here that have helped get some late germination going there, but we’re going to need more rain if it’s going to progress at all or else we’re going to fall backwards,” he added.

Not only is the drought hard on his crops.

Nesemeier said it also will affect his cattle. “If we don’t get some timely rain here, July and August could be tough months where we’re going to have to start with our pasture situation.”

Nesemeier owns 130 beef cows and said he may have to start pulling them off the farm.

“We’re already monitoring it and we do have some cows that we’re dry-lotting at home,” he said. “Right now, we’re sure we want to turn them out and put more pressure on our pastures right now.”

While farming and ranching is difficult right now, he said things could always be worse, such as having a farm in the western portion of the state.

“They are heading for a dire stage right now because there’s guys that won’t even harvest a crop out there this year,” said Nesemeier.

He’s hopeful Mother Nature will work out not only in his favor, but also for his fellow farmers.

“I know some people east of here are doing fairly well and the people west of us are struggling and were kind of right in the middle,” he said. “We’re just hoping everybody can catch some rain and do well this year.”

Much of central North Dakota is under a severe drought with a few pockets of extreme.

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