Drought was the most discussed topic among bankers gathered in Bismarck for the Ag Credit Conference. Garrison State Bank and Trust Executive Vice President Nicole Evenson serves farmers and ranchers in one of the hardest-hit drought areas of North Dakota. “We’re going to need substantial amounts of moisture to get our pastures back.” In the northern Red River Valley, American Federal Bank – Greater Grand Forks Region Senior Vice President John Schumacher says farmers are undergoing their fare share of challenges, too. “Within a couple mile radius, you have crops that are okay and others that are devastating.” An increase in commodity prices will help offset average-to-below average yields. “That, coupled with crop insurance and farm program payments will help farmers manage risk,” adds Schumacher. Unlike farmers, Evenson says ranchers need two things that Federal Crop or a loan can’t give them: water and grass. “If you sell 100 head (of cattle) today and try to buy them back next year, they aren’t going to be your same herd with the same genetics you spend many years creating.” Listen to the story.