- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Drought that is ravaging crops, pastures and hay land in North Dakota has worsened over the past week.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows nearly three-fourths of the state in some stage of drought, up from about two-thirds last week. And 55 percent of the state is in severe or extreme drought, up from 47 percent.

The worst areas are in the west, with much of the east rated as abnormally dry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated numerous counties in the Dakotas and Montana as natural disasters, paving the way for federal aid.

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