Late spring storms and heavy rains throughout the planting season caused an estimated 4.4 million acres of cropland to go unplanted this year, based on an early estimate by USDA Farm Service Agency's North Dakota State Office. The estimate was compiled in response to a request from Senator Heidi Heitkamp to gauge the impact of wet weather on North Dakota producers.
Aaron Krauter, State Executive Director for Farm Service Agency's North Dakota State Office says the estimate provides a good first look at disaster impacts for 2013. "The acreage reporting deadline has been extended to August 2nd and it will take some time to compile the final numbers," Krauter said. "The survey of FSA County Executive Directors gives us an opportunity to be proactive in delivering disaster assistance for impacted producers."
Heavy winter snows, flooding along many rivers in the state, and excessive rain have combined to keep producers from planting an estimated 4.4 million acres this year. The largest amounts of affected acreage lies north of the Highway 200 corridor.
Producers with losses in counties that are designated as disasters by the Secretary of Agriculture or in a contiguous county may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans or other disaster programs as authorized by Congress.