Gov. Burgum talks drought, weather modification in Carson, N.D.

Published: Jul. 19, 2017 at 1:31 PM CDT
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The sun is setting for some farmers and ranchers in North Dakota. Actions taken now to combat the drought, could affect the state for years to come.

"It's as bad as I've seen it," said Dan Stewart, a rancher south of Carson, N.D.

Despite the prolonged wrath of mother nature, he is confident that his family will make it, but worries for others.

"I'm a little more concerned about the younger generation. They're kind of the ones who are carrying the debt load, don't have the equity to spare," said Stewart.

Which was one of the many topics brought up when Gov. Doug Burgum came to town to hear how drought is affecting those in the southern part of the state. Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring and Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann also attended the meeting.

"I'm worried about some communities where there's going to be land and there isn't going to be a whole lot of operators," said Goehring.

One of the most contested topics of the night was the cloud seeding program that has been going on in North Dakota for more than 50 years.

"Last night, the planes got out late, they didn't get to fly. Southern areas of Adams County all the way across the state picked up rain," said one of the attendees.

Burgum says going over the data to see the effect of cloud seeding is an option.

"You know, is it effective or is it detrimental? And if it's having an effect, does it create winners and losers? And this is certainly something we got to go back and take a look at," said Gov. Burgum.

According to the Water Commission, cloud seeding has led to a 45 percent reduction in crop hail losses.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than 35 percent of North Dakota in extreme drought.​