Hay disaster looms in drought-stricken North Dakota

We suspect that Minnesota and other regional farmers are about to organize a “hay-lift” to the farmers of North Dakota, because from the sound of things, they’re going to need it.

A look at this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor map reveals why. To the west of us, there’s a real problem underway.

There’s not much growing out there, Forum Communications reports.

Adam Wanner, of Golden Valley, owns a 10,000 acre ranch with 600 cows and normally around this time, he’s produced 3,000 to 4,000 hay bales. This year he’s been able to make only 71.

He can buy hay, but it’s expensive and it has to be trucked in from elsewhere. It can cost $200,000 for enough hay for 300 cows.

The governor of North Dakota has signed an order dropping the 150-mile limit on people who hold non-commercial truck licenses to make it easier, but it’s not a cure.

Wanner says he’ll sell about a third of his cows.

The Department of Agriculture has approved the haying of land in the eastern part of the state that’s held in the Conservation Reserve Program, and is allowing emergency grazing on CRP land in the drought area.