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Dakota ranchers encouraged to send hay south

For once, alfalfa and hay crops were very good across North Dakota and neighboring states last year. Large parts of Oklahoma and Texas, on the other hand, received half or less of their annual rainfall last year.

"Because of the drought, most producers had a poor crop and drought conditions are continuing in the affected areas," says Kevin Sedivec, North Dakota State University Extension Service rangeland specialist. "Many calves [in those states] are going to feedlots at lighter than normal weights."

Sedivec is encouraging North Dakota ranchers with extra hay to consider selling or donating it to ranchers in drought-stricken Oklahoma or Texas. "During our drought years, some southern producers donated or sold some of their hay crop to North Dakota producers," he says.

The Oklahoma and Texas Department of Agriculture have set up toll-free hotlines for producers to call. Texans can call 877/429-1998 or go to www.agr.state.tx.us. In Oklahoma, the number is 800/580-6543.

For once, alfalfa and hay crops were very good across North Dakota and neighboring states last year. Large parts of Oklahoma and Texas, on the other hand, received half or less of their annual rainfall last year.

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