While rains continue, farmers and ranchers up and down the Missouri River area, its tributaries and other rivers in the area are affected by rising waters. Crops have yet to be planted, pasture land is flooded over and it is too wet to hay.
North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Vice President Jason Zahn, a rancher near Towner and along the Mouse River who runs a cow-calf operation, says according to the news that river is 7 to 9 feet higher than it was in 1969.
He says that the Mouse River isn’t draining right now, and there will be a lot of feed shortages occurring. He says that within the irrigation project he is a part of, there are 43 landowners affected. But he has friends 30 miles from the river whose hay land is also affected from the flooding.
Their attempt to get preventive planting acres opened up for the planting of cover crops was turned down Zahn says.
Zahn still has hope things will turn around.
Despite the flooding, Zahn says the high pasture ground is keeping up with grazing cattle because of the moisture and as long as the waters can recede in August, the pasture land should be okay. He says he has not yet heard of any ranchers downsizing their herds as a result of the flooding. But, he says many people are taking steps to make a plan for this coming fall.