Hay relief is on its way to North Dakota where drought has taken a toll on grazing and hay stands for livestock producers.

The most recent Drought Monitor released by the National Drought Mitigation Center indicates North Dakota is unusually dry with extreme drought (D3) at 45.56%, the second worst rating. North Dakota has 7.62% of the state classified as being in exceptional drought (D4), the worst classification.

A partnership has been formed by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and North Dakota State University (NDSU) N.D. Agricultural Experiment Station in an effort to organize hay relief efforts for livestock producers in the state. A hay donation drop off has been established near NDSU’s campus in Fargo where producers will have the opportunity to participate in a hay lottery.

 “We have been contacted by a Michigan organization called Ag Community Relief which, along with other groups, is organizing a large-scale hay donation convoy to North Dakota in mid-August for the hay lottery,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says. “We are so grateful to our friends in Michigan for everything they are doing for our producers.

Ag Community Relief is a group of farmers from Michigan’s Thumb region and Western Michigan who have come together to help people in rural America devastated by various events. Earlier this year the group donated hay and other goods to victims of wildfire throughout the Southern Plains.


Last week Ag Community Relief made a donation of hay to producers in Montana who were devastated by the Lodgepole Complex Wildfire.

To receive donations eligible North Dakota producers need to be from a count classified as being in D2, D3 or D4 drought while also owning at least 25 animal unit equivalents of dairy cattle, beef cattle or sheep.

Livestock producers interested in applying for the hay lottery should go to NDDA’s website at www.nd.gov/ndda to fill out and submit an application. The application deadline is August 31, 2017. To determine if you’re area qualifies go to droughtmonitor.unl.edu.

Any other individuals or organizations willing to donate hay or trucking for the hay lottery should call NDDA’s Drought Hotline at 701-425-8454 to get information about delivery to the NDSU site. “We are thankful to NDSU for providing the space and staffing to make this possible,” Goehring says. 

“NDSU is trying to help our state’s ranchers and farmers in many ways, so the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station is pleased to help with this hay donation effort,” says Greg Lardy, NDSU Animal Sciences department head.

The first drawing for semi-loads of hay will begin in early September. More drawings will take place if additional donations are made. Drawings will occur in two age categories: ages 35 and under, and ages 36 and above. Producers that are selected will be responsible for arranging hay transportation from the NDSU site.

Questions about filling out the hay lottery application may be directed to 701-328-4764.