BISMARCK, N.D. – In a video call today, Gov. Doug Burgum urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide additional flexibility with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for North Dakota ranchers who are dealing with reduced feed availability due to extreme drought conditions across North Dakota.
The governor’s request, made during preparation for the Western Governors’ Association 2021 Annual Meeting on June 30-July 1, supports a letter sent by North Dakota’s congressional delegation to Vilsack this week urging him to allow emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres prior to Aug. 1.
Burgum shared with Vilsack that fall 2020 through spring 2021 was the driest on record in North Dakota since recordkeeping began 127 years ago, and more than 100,000 acres, or 156 square miles of the state, have already burned this year in wildfires.
“Providing additional flexibility to allow CRP acres to be used for grazing and haying before Aug. 1 will give ranchers access to that additional feed before it loses its nutritional value and help producers preserve their herds,” Burgum said. “As a state, we are committed to addressing the drought with a whole-of-government response to provide assistance and relief for farmers and ranchers facing these devastatingly dry conditions.”
Burgum, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and other state officials hosted a town hall meeting today in Washburn and will host similar meetings Thursday in Rugby and Medora to discuss drought conditions and response. Times and locations are listed below. The meetings are open to the public and will be livestreamed on the governor’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GovernorDougBurgum/.
WHEN: 10 a.m. CT Thursday, June 17
WHERE: Coffee Cottage Café, 106 Hwy 2 SE
WHEN: 2 p.m. MT / 3 p.m. CT Thursday, June 17
WHERE: Medora Community Center, 465 Pacific Ave.
For information on drought relief resources, visit www.ndresponse.gov.