BEULAH, N.D. – Drought in North Dakota is laying waste to crops and searing pasture and hay land.
Some longtime farmers and ranchers say it’s the worst conditions they’ve seen in decades and possibly their lifetimes. Rancher Dawn Martin and her husband have had to sell off about one-third of their cattle herd. Farmer John Weinand isn’t expecting his crops to amount to much at all.
Nearly all of western North Dakota is in either severe or extreme drought, conditions that also extend into northern South Dakota and northeastern Montana. The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates crop production in all three states this year will be down dramatically.
North Dakota leads the nation in production of nearly a dozen crops. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the drought’s impact likely will be felt by consumers.