BISMARCK, N.D. — Time is running out for drought-impacted ranchers in the Northern Plains to apply for a hay lottery.

The application deadline for ranchers in the Dakotas and Montana is Thursday.

North Dakota’s Agriculture Department, North Dakota State University and the Michigan-based nonprofit Ag Community Relief earlier this month announced the program to accept hay donations at a site near the Fargo campus.

The hay will be distributed through a lottery drawing early next month. Each state will have a drawing.

Dozens of semitrailer loads of hay have been donated, and more than 1,000 ranchers in the three states have applied.

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