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Wisconsin farmers to help drought stricken North Dakota

Image courtesy MGN Online.

MADISON (AP) -- Wisconsin farmers are being asked to help North Dakota farmers struggling with the drought.

"Wisconsin farmers have always had big hearts, and this is one more way they can help out their neighbors, even neighbors who are two states away," said Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel in a news release.

Department spokeswoman Donna Gilson told Wisconsin Public Radio that North Dakota has seen high temperatures, high winds and little precipitation. As a result, North Dakota ranchers don't have enough hay or usable pasture land for their cattle, Gilson said.

"There's not a lot of hay or forage available right now, and what's available is not in great condition for their cattle," Gilson said.

Unlike North Dakota, Wisconsin has seen heavy rains this spring.

"There is a fair amount of the Midwest that is in pretty dry conditions right now. We're a little bit of an anomaly perhaps," Gilson said.

The rain has been a mixed blessing for farmers in the state, Gilson said. While storms delayed planting and damaged some crops last week, some farmers were able to get a jump start planting because of the wet weather.

However, some Wisconsin farmers saw heavy alfalfa loses due to winterkill caused by a lack of snow cover.

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