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North Dakota hay transportation assistance program opens

Cattle gather in a field on Kim Entze's ranch south of Golden Valley, N.D., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. John Hageman / Forum News Service

BISMARCK—A program that aims to relieve hay transportation costs brought on by this year's drought is now open, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture said Tuesday, Sept. 5.

The state Emergency Commission voted last month to borrow $1.5 million from the Bank of North Dakota for a program to reimburse eligible producers for part of their hay transportation expenses. Producers were asked to visit to fill out an application.

"Hay shortages have forced producers to purchase and transport hay from increasingly further distances," state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a statement. "This program will assist producers with defraying some of those costs to help sustain their operation into the next year."

To be eligible for the program, producers must have been in a D2, D3, or D4-level county on the U.S. Drought Monitor and must own at least 25 animal unit equivalents of dairy cattle, beef cattle, bison, sheep or goats, along with other requirements. Producers must provide verifiable records of livestock inventories and hay transportation expenses.

Only costs incurred between June 1, 2017 and Oct. 20, 2017 are eligible. Applications must be submitted or postmarked by Nov. 3.

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