BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An interactive map set up in early summer to help drought-impacted North Dakota farmers and ranchers find hay for their livestock had participation from 33 states and has been viewed 11,000 times.
North Dakota's Agriculture Department at the end of the month is deactivating the Drought Hotline map , which Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said proved to be "an invaluable asset" during the peak of the drought.
"The nice thing about the interactive map was that it gave producers the ability to click any listing and directly contact people in regards to their needs," he said.
More than 400 people from across the U.S. listed hay to sell or donate, with an additional 85 listing available hay land, pasture, feedlots or Conservation Reserve Program acres. An additional 37 offered hay-hauling services.
Much of central and western North Dakota was mired in severe, extreme and even exceptional drought during the growing season. The map lists 24 North Dakota counties as having producers in need of hay.
Conditions have improved, with the U.S. Drought Monitor listing only about 5 percent of the state as being in severe drought, with no areas now in extreme or exceptional drought. However, much of central and western North Dakota is still listed in moderate drought, and most of eastern North Dakota is abnormally dry.