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Drought Information

Drought Information for North Dakota Producers 

Contact Congressman Cramer’s Field Representative Kaitlyn Weidert at (701) 839-0255 or for drought assistance.   


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced there were sufficient production losses in North Dakota to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation. The USDA will continue to add counties on a weekly basis if drought conditions continue to deteriorate. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, primary disaster counties suffer from a drought intensity value of D2-D4, which ranges from severe to exceptional drought.    

Learn more at:


  • Who should I contact to discuss options for my operation?
    • First, contact your county United States Department of Agriculture - Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA) office. For contact information to your local office, please click here. You may also want to interact with the North Dakota FSA office as well as other North Dakota state and federal officeholders including my office. 


  • Information on Emergency Haying and Grazing of CRP
    • Under abnormally dry conditions, the USDA-FSA can authorize emergency haying or grazing of eligible conservation reserve program (CRP) acres to alleviate a shortfall of forage.
    • Like with all Farm Bill programs, the potential for emergency haying and grazing is only meant as a lifeline to our livestock producers. I count on local, state and national FSA to reasonably meet the needs of our cattlemen and cattlewomen without distorting the market depended upon by our hay producers.
    • Emergency grazing is permitted for certain counties in North Dakota based on level of drought.      
    • Click here for detailed information on options provided by the USDA-FSA including ineligible acres for certain CRP practices such as wetland restoration (CP 23) and duck nesting habitat (CP 37).  


  • Am I eligible for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)?
    • The LFP makes payments to eligible livestock producers who have suffered losses on drought-affected pastureland.  Payments are triggered by the drought intensity level for an individual county, as published in the U.S. Drought Monitor. To view the current Drought Monitor, click here.
    • See this fact sheet for more information. 
    • See table on the Livestock Forage Program below courtesy of the Congressional Research Service. 

Drought Monitor Intensity

Time Period

No. of Monthly Payments

D2 (severe drought)

For at least eight consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period

one monthly payment

D3 (extreme drought)

At any time during the normal grazing period

three monthly payments

D3 (extreme drought)

For at least four weeks during the normal grazing period

four monthly payments

D4 (exceptional drought)

At any time during the normal grazing period

four monthly payments

D4 (exceptional drought)

For four weeks (not necessarily consecutive) during the normal grazing period

five monthly payments


  • Can I waive my 30-day ownership insurance requirement?
    • The USDA has authorized up to a 12 month exemption to the FSA farm loan requirement that borrowers maintain physical control of livestock during the term of the loan.
    • The USDA will also allow insurance providers to waive the 30-day ownership requirement for Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Specific Coverage Endorsements upon an individual producer providing proof of ownership. More information can be found here.


  • What should I do when my crops are damaged by drought?
    • Contact your AIP (agent) before putting spring-planted crop acres to another use such as harvesting for silage, diverting irrigation water, destroying the crop, or abandoning the acres. Notice of damage must be given within 72 hours of the initial discovery of damage or loss of production, but not later than 15 days after the end of the insurance period, even if the crop has not been harvested. It is very important to work closely with your AIP before making any changes to the care of the insured crop. The AIP must have a chance to appraise and release the acres before the crop is put to another use, destroyed, or abandoned. If an accurate appraisal cannot be made, or you disagree with the appraisal at the time acreage is to be destroyed or no longer cared for, you and the AIP can select representative sample areas of the crop to be left intact for future appraisal purposes. In this case, the representative sample areas must continue to be cared for, with the exception of irrigation, until the final appraisal can be made.


  • Should I continue to care for crops damaged by drought?
    • Crops that have been damaged and will be taken to harvest must be cared for and maintained using generally recognized good farming practices. Agricultural experts in the area can advise on farming practices required to maintain the production in the field and to help protect the crop from further damage. With the AIP's agreement, you may destroy or abandon the crop and leave representative sample areas in accordance with paragraph 88 of the Loss Adjustment Manual (LAM). The representative sample areas must be maintained as if the entire crop was left intact until the AIP conducts a final inspection and releases the representative sample areas. Failure to properly maintain the crop following damage could result in a determination that the cause of loss was not covered and, therefore, no claim payment is due. 


  • Contact Information:
    • Your County FSA Office: find your local office here.
    • Congressman Cramer's Office: (701) 839-0255 or (202) 225-2611
    • North Dakota FSA Office: (701) 239-5224 



Click here to view disaster declaration for North Dakota.