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A perfect storm dries up hay supply


Last updated 7/21/2021 at 11:25am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

A grasshopper rests in the sun. High levels of grasshoppers in the area are causing severe damage to crops, just one of several major problems local agricultural producers are facing this season.

North-central Montana is in the midst of a serious hay shortage, the result of a perfect storm of severe drought conditions, a population explosion of grasshoppers and blister beetles, and the effects of last year's drop failure at the St. Mary Diversion.

Montana State University Hill County Extension Agriculture and 4-H Agent Colleen Buck said the drought conditions and less-than-ideal nitrate levels in the soil have made it difficult to grow much of anything and a lot of people have had trouble finding the hay they need to feed their livestock.

"The plants aren't growing, and everyone i...

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