Secretary Ben Brancel is asking Wisconsin farmers to help out North Dakota ranchers suffering under drought conditions, answering a call for assistance from his counterpart there.

"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 the head of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Brancel noted that some Wisconsin farmers experienced heavy alfalfa losses to winterkill this year. "You might even find someone right here who needs help," he said. The University of Wisconsin-Extension operates a farmer-to-farmer website at http://farmertofarmer.uwex.edu to connect farmers with hay to buy or sell.

Low precipitation combined with high winds and temperatures have created drought conditions across North Dakota in varying degrees. A hotline (701-425-8454) is available for callers to report what they are able to provide. Anyone with hay to sell, hay land to rent, or time and equipment to move hay is asked to call and leave their name, contact information and what they can provide. Many producers are also looking for farmers out of state who can dry lot or pasture their cattle.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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