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Cattle gather in a field on Kim Entze's ranch south of Golden Valley, N.D., Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. John Hageman / Forum News Service

North Dakota Industrial Commission to consider drought loan programs

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission will consider Bank of North Dakota loan programs for livestock producers affected by this year's drought Wednesday, Sept. 13.

One program would provide financing for borrowers to purchase and rebuild breeding stock to pre-drought levels. The other would help with the added costs of feeding livestock, such as hauling hay and purchasing feed, according to a draft program outline provided by the commission's executive director Karlene Fine.

For the breeding stock program, the Bank of North Dakota would participate in up to 75 percent of the loan amount with a maximum participation of $500,000. For the feed cost program, it would participate in up to 90 percent of the loan with a maximum participation of $100,000.

The programs are not intended to help with the expansion of herds or livestock operations.

Livestock producers from or adjacent to counties in severe, extreme or exceptional drought at any time in 2017 would be eligible to apply, according to the draft. Applicants must be North Dakota residents.

Fine said the programs may change because the commission hadn't yet talked to bank management about them.

While conditions have eased in recent weeks, as much as 45.6 percent of the state was in extreme or exceptional drought in late July, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring recently predicted the drought would have a $4 billion to $5 billion overall economic impact on the state.

Goehring, along with Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, is a member of the Industrial Commission.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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