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A lack of snow cover this winter as shown in a corn stubble field north of Bismarck is an example of the possible continuation of last year's drought in North Dakota. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor is predicting another early season drought for central and western North Dakota, so scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northern Great Plains Research Lab are aiming to offer farmers some tips on getting through another dry year.

The Mandan lab dealt with the same issues as area farmers and ranchers during last summer’s drought, but because of the various production methods tested there, researchers found some successes that could help farmers in the coming year, said director Dave Archer.

Joining with North Dakota State University, Bismarck State College and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the lab is hosting a free workshop for farmers and ranchers — Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line — on Tuesday at the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence.

At this event, researcher Mark Liebig will share short-term and long-term strategies for finding crop success in the drought.

Kevin Sedivec, director of the NDSU Central Grasslands REC and NDSU Extension rangeland specialist, will try to help ranchers with grazing strategies as they try to stretch pastures already stressed by last summer’s dry weather.

Producers also will have a chance to ask bankers their financial questions, and Al Gustin, farmer, rancher, agricultural journalist and author, will provide a historical perspective on family farming and ranching in this region.

The event starts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Call 701-667-3340 to reserve a lunch for the event.

Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or


Business Reporter