Gov. Burgum addresses state agricultural leaders on severe drought conditions
Some of the hardest hit areas are farms that specialize in small grain crops.
NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) — North Dakota’s severe drought conditions are causing hardships in the agriculture industry
“Our two worst years were 1980 and 1988. It just never rained. We’ve had a little more rain on our farm than those two years, but I can equate this year to that,” Kevin Skunes from the North Dakota Corn Growers Association said.
After speaking with farmers, state agricultural leaders are voicing struggles within the industry. Some of the hardest hit areas are farms that specialize in small grain crops.
“A grower I talked to southeast of Bismarck is tied up and has 2,000 acres to replant, primarily soybeans. As you know, a lot of our growers plant soybeans and other grain as well. So, we are very much concerned and very much watching what’s happening out there around the state,” North Dakota Corn Growers Association’s Executive Director Brenda Elmer said.
One agriculture leader says hoping for rain won’t do much help.
“I don’t think you can fix it with rain right now corn and beans probably could still recover quite a bit, small grains are beyond hope I believe. We’re going to need some tools to help us through this,” North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne said.
To help ease concerns amongst those in the industry, Governor Burgum says there is help.
“There are some programs we have launched with the livestock emergency program copying stuff we did in 2017. We approved an additional $2 million last week in water commission for those individual producers for water projects. There are things we can do to help support,” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said.
Another implementation Burgum is addressing is the state’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
“We’ve got the geology in North Dakota. We hit the geological jackpot. Turns out we have the bakken which is one of the great energy plays in the world. Within the Bakken there’s places where we can store 50 years worth of all the CO2 by all industries in the U.S,” added Burgum.
Governor Burgum says the state could have a carbon negative oil company operating in the state within the next couple of years.