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North Dakota counties eligible for disaster aid

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BISMARCK — The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared an agricultural disaster in 31 North Dakota counties where farmers had major crop losses during the growing season, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.

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The designation makes farmers and ranchers eligible for supplemental disaster assistance and other federal programs.

“Farmers and ranchers in much of North Dakota faced a host of major production challenges this year,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “I am pleased that Agriculture Secretary Vilsack has granted assistance to farmers and ranchers in 46 counties.”

Heavy snowpack, flooding, frosts and freeze damage and other problems prevented North Dakota farmers from planting more than 4 million acres this year, the state’s second-largest amount of unplanted crop acreage in recent history.

The USDA declared an agricultural disaster in the counties of Benson, Bottineau, Burke, Burleigh, Cavalier, Divide, Emmons, Grand Forks, Grant, Kidder, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Sioux, Stutsman, Towner, Traill, Walsh, Ward and Wells.

The declaration also makes federal assistance available to farmers and ranchers in 15 contiguous counties: Adams, Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Dunn, Eddy, Foster, Griggs, Hettinger, LaMoure, McKenzie, Sheridan, Stark, Steele and Williams.

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