Drought victims search for CRP; some 1.4 million acres eligible in ND
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Harvest crews are in northeast North Dakota this weekend to take emergency Conservation Reserve Program hay, though some haying on CRP lands won’t happen until the first week of August.
“Hay jockeys” are people without many cows, buying up hay by the bale or the acre just to make a profit selling it at a premium to the drought victims.
Paul Sproule, a farmer from Grand Forks, says he’s been working two weeks to gather CRP cooperators for drought victims.
Grand Forks County has about 73,000 acres of CRP.
"We went through a disaster in 1997," Sproule says, when asked why he’s making the effort.
If they use the emergency option they must wait three years to hay the acres under "managed" haying.
"We need feed not only to get us through the winter like we historically do, but we have to figure out how to feed our cattle all the way through next spring," Dahlen says.
Grains, energy sources or byproduct feeds like distillers grains are priced cheaper than buying additional forages.
"Then it comes to the management strategies for putting high-energy feeds into our cow diets when we’re used to managing our cows on forages or grazing throughout the summer," Dahlen says.
The North Dakota Farm Bureau Foundation on July 18 announced a drought relief effort for North Dakota farmers and ranchers affected by the drought.