Gov. Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring have announced the availability of an emergency hay transportation program. The $1.5 million grant program will help reimburse a portion of hay transportation expenses to eligible producers impacted by the drought.
“The widespread nature of our extreme drought has exacerbated costs for North Dakota ranchers who now must go hundreds of miles to supplement their own depleted hay supplies. The emergency assistance approved today will provide a real measure of relief by lowering the cost barrier between strained livestock producers and faraway hay stocks,” Burgum said. “As Commissioner Goehring and I have heard during our drought town hall meetings across western North Dakota, there is no question the need exists. We’re committed to using all appropriate resources to help the farmers and ranchers who form the foundation of our communities and economy.”
“The drought has created unprecedented impacts to forage production. Hay shortages have forced producers to purchase and transport hay from increasingly further distances,” Goehring said. “This program will assist producers with defraying some of those costs to help sustain their operation into the next year. As agriculture is the leading industry in the state’s economy, it is vital to the future of our state to provide assistance to these producers.”
Program eligibility requirements include:
•Must be from a D2, D3 or D4 county. The latest drought monitor depicting the drought levels of specific counties may be found at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
•Must own at least 25 animal unit equivalents of dairy cattle, beef cattle, bison, sheep or goats. A description of animal unit equivalents may be found directly on the application.
•Hay must be used for the purposes of the producer’s own livestock operation.
•Hay transportation costs must have been incurred between June 1, 2017, and Oct. 20,
•Must have costs related to the transportation of hay outside of an applicant’s normal livestock operation.
Producers must provide verifiable records of livestock inventories and hay transportation expenses. The program will reimburse producers a portion of expenses dependent on the total amount of applications received and approved through the program. Other feeds and supplements are not included.
The program will officially start Sept. 5 and livestock producers interested in applying should go to NDDA’s website at www.nd.gov/ndda to fill out and submit an application at that time.
The application deadline is Nov. 3, 2017.
Funding for the program is provided through the Department of Emergency Services. The state Emergency Commission today approved borrowing $1.5 million from the Bank of North Dakota for the program.
Questions about filling out the application may be directed to 701-328-2231.