North Dakota officials are setting up a hay donation site in Fargo to help drought-stricken ranchers.
Much of the western two-thirds of the state is in severe or extreme drought and many ranchers have no pastures for cattle now, and no hay to feed the cattle through the coming winter.
"One producer shared with me that he puts up between 3,000 and 4,000 bales a year. And he had 71. Another producer told me that he actually went out and cut a hundred acres, and got a half a bale," said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
A Michigan group called Ag Community Relief told Goehring it will send an estimated 10 to 12 semi-truck loads of donated hay to North Dakota later this month. The hay will be stored at a site set up by North Dakota State University and distributed to ranchers through a lottery system.
Officials say it's too early to put a number on the drought losses suffered by farmers and ranchers in the state, but economic impact is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Agriculture's our largest industry in the state and it supports almost 25 percent of the workforce in the state," said Goehring. "We're seeing a really hard, hard impact on mainstreet."