David Matejcek is afraid he’ll have to buy hay this fall to feed his 110 head of cattle. Even after taking about 300 acres of land out of the federal Conservation Reserve Program when the contract expired, the farmer from the western Walsh County town of Lawton, N.D., doesn’t think he’ll have enough of a hay crop to feed his herd.
Despite heavy rain across much of Walsh County, crop damage wasn’t as bad as he feared, said Brad Brummond, a Park River, N.D., agriculture extension agent. That’s partly because there wasn’t much for the 3 to 7 inches of rain to hurt; many fields weren’t planted anyway because of spring flooding.
Kent and Jan Lahren have a cattle operation west of Walcott. They say the National Guard, friends and relatives helped them save their farm home. Water was only a foot from the home when a dike went up.
The Red River Valley contains some of the world’s finest farmland. But there are signs, including comments by a top agricultural leader, that area farmers will need to make sacrifices to control future flooding. “The only way this is going to work, in my opinion, is if everybody gives up something, and that includes farmers,” said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
Pembina lunch counter serves home-cooked fare to flood fighters If anybody volunteered to walk the dikes in Pembina, N.D., as a way to shed some of those winter pounds, they better be marching right past the High Water Cafe.
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