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Ag Department opens hotline for farmers, ranchers affected by pipeline protest

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has opened a hotline for farmers and ranchers affected by protests of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Goehring

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has opened a hotline for farmers and ranchers affected by protests of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said farmers and ranchers near the protest area who urgently need help finishing seasonal work before winter should call the Farm/Ranch Emergency Assistance Hotline at (701) 425-8454. He also appealed to local truckers and custom silage-chopping services to contact the hotline if they’re able to provide services.

Department of Agriculture employees will answer the free hotline from 8 to 5 p.m. weekdays, and callers can leave messages on evenings or weekends.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said last week that deputies have been assigned to stay in regular contact with farmers and ranchers, citing reports of threats, intimidation and trespassing by protesters.

Those who need assistance conducting their normal agricultural activities should call the sheriff’s department at (701) 667-3330 for assistance in providing safe passage to get their work done, Goehring said.

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The hotline is modeled after the Harvest Hotline, a free service for farmers and combiners that’s been in place since 1992.

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