Weather Forecast


ND studying oil-traffic related dust

BISMARCK (AP) -- Complaints from western North Dakota farmers and ranchers about oil traffic-generated dust have spurred a state study to determine the severity of the problem on crops and pastures.

But the North Dakota State University Extension Service's research this summer in Mountrail County might be hindered by one of the wettest years on record.

Extension Agent Jim Hennessy says dust emissions from traffic on unpaved farm roads have exploded with the boom in the state's oil patch. That has prompted claims of stunted crops, lower yields, damaged pasture grass and allergic reactions in livestock.

Hennessy says heavy rain and record overland flooding this spring have suppressed road dust or washed it off plants. But he says the problem likely will worsen as things dry out this summer.