Cramer meets with USDA official to discuss drought
Drought conditions continue to hang on in the region despite recent rains. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has portions of both North Dakota and South Dakota in severe drought and moderate drought, while abnormally dry conditions persist in part ...
Drought conditions continue to hang on in the region despite recent rains.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has portions of both North Dakota and South Dakota in severe drought and moderate drought, while abnormally dry conditions persist in part of Minnesota and Montana.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., says he met on June 7 with Bill Northey, U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service, "to get prepped for potential drought problems" like the region experienced in 2017.
"We pray that it doesn't happen," Cramer says.
He told Agweek in a phone conversation on June 8 that Northey came to his Congressional office and the two discussed the types of agriculture predominant in the portion of North Dakota experiencing severe drought. They also discussed USDA programs that would assist producers if the drought persists and talked over problems with the Pasture Rangeland Forage Program Crop Insurance Instrument, as well as issues that arise due to a lack of rainfall reporting sites in western North Dakota.
USDA was responsive to the 2017 drought, enabling emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres and assisting producers with other programs, Cramer says.
The Drought Monitor released on June 7, puts 11.49 percent of North Dakota in severe drought, 41.28 in moderate drought and 28.05 abnormally dry. That's a slight improvement from a week earlier, but the severe drought has persisted in a large area of north central North Dakota. Overall, it's an improvement from the same time in 2017, when the 87.46 percent of the state was in moderate or severe drought and the rest was abnormally dry. But dry conditions have persisted even as rain has hit much of the state.
In South Dakota, severe drought crept to 2.02 percent, 20.12 percent is in moderate drought and 27.85 percent is abnormally dry. Last week, no severe drought was reported in the state. Last year at the same time, 11.37 percent was in severe drought, 39.15 percent was in moderate drought and 28.4 percent was abnormally dry.
Conditions continue to improve in Montana, where 11.95 percent remains abnormally dry, compared to 12.48 percent the week prior. Last year at the same time, 16.56 percent of the state was in moderate drought and 20.13 was abnormally dry.
Minnesota, which fared much better than the other three states during the 2017 drought, was 35.57 percent abnormally dry this week, down from 55.73 percent abnormally dry last week. Last year at the same time, 9.69 percent was in moderate drought and 30.33 percent was abnormally dry.