Drought management workshop addresses producers’ concerns
By Annette Tait
Agriculture producers from as far away as Dodge, Carson, Stanton, and Price -- and representing Oliver, Mercer, Dunn, Grant, Burleigh, and Morton counties -- filled the meeting room at the Morton County Fairgrounds in New Salem last Friday with one thing on their minds: managing their operations under the D3-rated drought conditions encompassing central North Dakota.
The D3 rating is the second worst scenario in the U.S. Drought Monitor Classification Scheme, which rates drought conditions from D0 [D-zero], “abnormally dry,” to D4, “exceptional drought. The D3 rating indicates extreme drought, with major crop/pasture losses and widespread water shortages or restrictions.
Dry conditions have devastated crops and put livestock operations in precarious situations due to lack of hay, prompting the North Dakota State University Extension Service to host drought management workshops such as the one in New Salem, and increase efforts to get drought management information out to producers. Those attending the workshop came with hopes that what they learned would help them make the best of a bad situation.