Drought loan programs approved by ND Industrial Commission
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission approved two Bank of North Dakota loan programs to help livestock producers hampered by this year's drought Wednesday, Sept. 13.
The three-member commission, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, approved a program to provide financing to purchase and rebuild breeding stock along with another to help with the added costs of feeding livestock.
Producers in 46 of the state's 53 counties will be eligible for the programs, reflecting the widespread nature of the drought. As much as 45.6 percent of North Dakota was in an extreme or exceptional drought in late July, although conditions have improved since then.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, a member of the commission, said the programs will "help a lot of producers make some decisions right now before they go into winter."
Bank of North Dakota President Eric Hardmeyer estimated the loans between both programs would total $25 million to $30 million. The state-owned bank will work with local lenders to determine the Bank of North Dakota's level of participation.
Hardmeyer said they may introduce a similar program this fall for farmers who saw crop losses due to the drought.