North Dakota: A Year of Recovery from Drought

AgDay hay Pack 0713
Alfalfa and hay yields are high in North Dakota many farmers say, replenishing much needed feed supplies. ( Farm Journal )

More than 80% of North Dakota is drought-free this year, a welcome change from 2017.

At this time last year, 94% of the state was under drought. A third of the state was in extreme drought.

AgDay host Clinton Griffiths said the state is pulling in a bumper crop of feed due to normal and above normal precipitation, a welcome relief for many ranchers.

Timere Zenker, a farmer in Grant County, N.D., says their alfalfa hay crop “is just beautiful. We haven’t seen such nice alfalfa in quite a few years.”

Mixed hay was also yielding nicely, she says.

In 2017, producers were chopping corn early for feed, baling cornstalks and other annual crops. Being able to replenish their hay stocks are incredibility important this year.

“Having the ability to make some hay this year, and what looks to be an ample hay crop will make a huge difference to the bottom lines of livestock producers,” said Julie Ellingson, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

North Dakota drought
While more than 80% of North Dakota is drought-free, last year the state was covered in moderate to extreme drought. See the chart to compare conditions from 2018 to a year ago.