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Deadline approaches for hay assistance

Stock art of truck transporting hay bales.

There's been a bit of rain and snow since the dog days of the drought, yet the Emergency Hay Transportation Assistance Program is still accepting eligible expense submissions for both commercial and personal hay transportation assistance expenses, but the final deadline looms.

Applications for the program must be submitted or postmarked by Monday. Livestock producers interested in applying should go to the department's website at www.nd.gov/ndda to fill out and submit an application or to download a paper version.

"There has been some confusion as to whether this program is only for commercial transportation expenses, which is not true," North Dakota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Goehring said in a release issued Thursday. "If you personally hauled more hay than you would in a typical year, those personal transportation expenses are eligible for consideration."

Personal transportation expenses are being calculated at $1.40 per loaded mile. The program will reimburse eligible producers for a portion of hay transportation expenses incurred between June 1 and Nov. 6 of this year.

Eligibility for the program requires one to have resided in one of the drought-stricken counties, any county that saw severe, extreme or exceptional drought as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor any time between June 1 and Nov. 6, which would mean a large portion of western North Dakota.

Additionally, one must own at least 25 animal unit equivalents of dairy cattle, beef cattle, bison, sheep or goats. The hay must be used for the purposes of the producer's own livestock operation.

Other requirements and more information can be found on the ag department's website. Any questions regarding filling out the application may be directed to 1-844-642-4752.

Producers are asked to provide verifiable records of livestock inventories and hay transportation expenses. The program will reimburse producers a portion of expenses dependent on the total amount of applications received and approved through the program.

The program is funded through the Department of Emergency Services.

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