Gov. Jack Dalrymple today said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared an agricultural disaster in 31 North Dakota counties where farmers sustained major crop losses during the growing season. The agricultural designation makes farmers and ranchers in 31 primary counties and 15 contiguous counties eligible for supplemental disaster assistance and other federal programs.
"Farmers and ranchers in much of North Dakota faced a host of major production challenges this year," Dalrymple said. "I am pleased that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has granted assistance to farmers and ranchers in 46 counties."
In July, Dalrymple requested the USDA complete a statewide assessment of crop damages and production losses to determine which counties would qualify for a secretarial disaster designation. Heavy snowpack, flooding, frosts and freeze damage and other perils prevented North Dakota farmers from planting more than 4 million acres this year, the state's second-largest amount of unplanted crop acreage in recent history.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack notified Gov. Dalrymple today that the USDA has declared an agricultural disaster due to several perils including spring snowstorms, flooding, hail damage, freeze damage and mid-summer drought conditions.
The USDA has declared an agricultural disaster in the North Dakota counties of Benson, Bottineau, Burke, Burleigh, Cavalier, Divide, Emmons, Grand Forks, Grant, Kidder, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Sioux, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Wells.
The disaster declaration also makes federal assistance available to farmers and ranchers in 15 contiguous counties: Adams, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Dunn, Eddy, Foster, Griggs, Hettinger, LaMoure, McKenzie, Sheridan, Stark, Steele and Williams.