Two loan programs through the Bank of North Dakota, designed to assist livestock producers affected by last year’s drought, are being extended.
The Breeding Stock Rebuilding program and the Feed Cost program were created after parts of the state suffered very dry conditions, and some ranchers had to sell off part or all of their herds. Both were implemented in late summer 2017.
Bank of North Dakota president Eric Hardmeyer said few loans were made last year in either program, as ranchers waited to see what was going to happen in 2018.
"Conditions have greatly improved," Hardmeyer said. "Confidence is building with the hay crop, and other conditions are improving. So now, ranchers are feeling they're not going to have to look that hard for feed as they did last year."
Hardmemyer said pastures are looking good, and hay looks to be plentiful.
"Ranchers are coming at this with confidence," Hardmeyer said. "Not it makes sense to them to look at rebuilding their herds."
Hardmeyer said he isn’t anticipating a big use of the feed cost program.
"Growing conditions will take care of that," Hardmeyer said.
More than 80 percent of North Dakota was impacted by the 2017 drought.