Severe drought affecting farmers, crops and livestock

The most affected areas of drought are leaving lasting effects on both crops and livestock.

NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) — Severe drought conditions continue to have damaging effects on the agricultural industry.

“Ninety-nine percent of the state is currently in drought of which 18 percent is in the most severe or D-4 level which is known as exceptional drought,” North Dakota State University Extension Livestock Environmental Specialist Miranda Meehan said.

The most affected areas of drought include farmland in the north, central and western part of the state and are leaving lasting effects on both crops and livestock.

“We have seen several now especially in western North Dakota where the wheat is in severe stress. Right now some of the tillers are dying out because there is not enough moisture and the wheat is very short,” North Dakota State University Extension Agronomist Hans Kandel said.

“Livestock producers have been harder hit with 80 percent of our grass growing with the rains that we receive between April 1 through June 30th and that doesn’t factor in the additional impacts of our fall drought forage production,” said Meehan.

While the lack of rainfall has already left its damaging effects on wheat, Kandel says there is still hope for other crops the state leads in producing.

“For soybeans there is still hope because they are not going to go reproductive until the second half of July and we always say soybeans are made with rain in August. The sugar beets are okay now, but they still depend on some rain as well as corn. So, the rain in August will be important,” said Kandel.

With the hope for rainfall and more crop production later in the season, Kandel says there will be a loss of revenue for farmers.

“The potential for revenue is based on the bushels produced times the price. The bushels are going to be reduced because we already see the stress now. We can never reach the full potential, there is still an opportunity for soybeans and corn to get a reasonable yield, but we are not going to get the top yields,” Kandel said.

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Categories: Agriculture, North Dakota News