Early CRP Access Denial has Ranchers Searching for Solutions

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota ranchers are feeling the heat in this drought. Lack of moisture has had a big impact on rancher’s herds and fields.

Many were looking forward to the early release of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) hay, but the Biden administration’s denial has many looking for other means of maintaining their herds.

Burleigh County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Tyler Kralicek stated that ranchers will have to wait another week or so for access to CRP land. Some say they might not be able to wait that long.

On a good year, Burleigh County rancher Neil Effertz can expect to get about three months of feed for his cattle from this field, but not this year.

”We wintered our cows on this cornfield a couple years ago and it wouldn’t last two weeks now,” said Effertz

Effertz states his ranch and fields have only seen about 3 inches of rain this year.

“Normally by this time we’d have 12 inches or more,” replied Effertz.

Not only does the drought affect available feed, but it also is affecting the herd’s water supply.

Effertz said his “stock dams are nearly dry, so trying to keep water in front of these cattle is a real challenge.”

He was hoping for the early release of CRP hay, but now that won’t be an option.

”Not being able to cut it in a timely fashion just makes it where it’s not feasible,” says Effertz.

He has already had to sell some of his cattle early and hopes not to continue that trend. Effertz’s pastures need rain, but he’s not giving up hope.

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