Richland County commissioners issue disaster declaration request

RICHLAND COUNTY, N.D. - After millions of dollars of sugar beets were destroyed by the late harvest’s freezing temperatures, Richland County commissioners sent Montana Gov. Steve Bullock a disaster declaration request.

Thirty thousand tons of the crops that were taken out of the ground froze and will not be usable. The processing company estimates that farmers have lost a total of $6.9 million.

The request said a disaster declaration would make producers eligible for disaster-programs, emergency assistance or loans and streamline program access.

In the county, there was a quality loss of around 40 percent for Safflower, 40 percent for spring wheat, 45 percent for lentils and 45 for chickpeas. Disaster declarations have been made for almost all counties surrounding Richland.

The commissioners’ civil attorney says the governor’s office has been informed of the request but hasn’t responded.