Additional $5M in aid approved for ranchers in drought
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s State Water Commission on Friday approved $5 million in additional aid to help ranchers who are battling drought conditions this summer.
As part of the aid, the commission approved two additional water supply assistance programs and allocated more money to an existing program, Gov. Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a joint statement.
“North Dakota producers continue to face unprecedented drought conditions that are devastating crops, decimating livestock herds and destroying billions of dollars in value on farms and ranches that have been built over generations,” said Burgum, who chairs the State Water Commission. “The relief approved today will help livestock producers manage this adversity and invest in infrastructure that builds resiliency against extreme drought conditions now and in the future.”
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map, released Thursday, shows more than half of North Dakota is in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
All of the state is in some form of drought. State officials say conditions driven by lack of precipitation and record heat are the worst in at least 30 years.
The commission has previously approved $4.1 million for the Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Project Assistance Program, which helps ranchers share costs as they try to manage the drought.