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Drought conditions hold North Dakota hay production back to one-third of average

A couple of states saw some drought relief over the past seven-day period, while others remain at extreme to exceptionally dire conditions.

As it has been all season long, North Dakota continues to take the brunt of the drought. The prolonged dry conditions have taken a major toll on hay production in the state, according to North Dakota State University Extension Rangeland Specialist, Kevin Sedivec.

"Western North Dakota has gotten some rain, the south central part of the state got some rain, but I’ve looked at a lot of fields and it seems to me that the hay season is just about done,” said Sedivec. "It looks like the best yields in the better parts of the state is about 50% of normal (yield) for hay production. The north central part of the state has no hay. It ranges from no hay to 50% and my call on the average for the state is that we are running about one-third of the normal hay production in North Dakota.”

A couple states did see some drought relief over the past seven-day period. Here is a state-by-state look at this week’s drought monitor:

Iowa: Iowa was one of the few states that saw some reprieve from drought conditions. 35.62% is in severe drought, down from 43.88% last week. 31.86% is categorized in a moderate drought with 18.11% abnormally dry. 14.40% of the state is not experiencing drought conditions, up from 7.54% last week.

Minnesota: Minnesota had another increase in its drought totals over the past week. 11.14% is in severe drought. 71% of the state is experiencing moderate drought conditions, up from 61% last week. 17.85% of acres are in the abnormally dry category.

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Montana: Montana had a small spike in extreme drought acres. Extreme drought came in at 19.94%, up from 14.25% with severe drought at 41.02%. Moderate drought was at 17.45% with abnormally dry at 14.10%.

Nebraska: Similar to last week, 0.94% of the state is in the extreme drought category, while severe drought conditions came in at 3.72%. Moderate drought came in at 10.62% with abnormally dry conditions at 47.95%.

North Dakota: North Dakota totals were relatively unchanged from last week. Exceptional drought remained at 17.68% with extreme drought down slightly at 43.09%. Severe drought came in at 30.12% with moderate drought at 9.11%.

South Dakota: South Dakota had a slight increase in its extreme drought acres for the second consecutive week, increasing from 10.50% to 12.18%. Severe drought was also up slightly at 56.17%, up from 52.61% last week. Moderate drought came in at 20.88% with abnormally dry conditions at 9.01%.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin also experienced some drought relief. 0.81% of the state remains in extreme drought, with 1.38% in severe drought. 33.71% is categorized in a moderate drought, down from 44.91% last week. 28.06% considered abnormally dry. 36.06% of the state is not experiencing drought conditions, up from 23.46% last week.

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