The 1991 North Dakota Legislature extensively considered economic development. Growing North Dakota, perhaps one of the most comprehensive proposals, was not adopted until near the end of the session. This program encourages diversification and industrialization of North Dakota agriculture, as well as provides continued funding for several agricultural programs, including the beginning farmer program. The legislators acted to protect groundwater resources and established a Northwestern Area Water Authority. Water permit application fees were increased by 100% for both irrigation and livestock uses. The recent drought and need for water for livestock culminated in a livestock water assistance program. A grasshopper pest control bill allows township governments to spray ditches after notifying the landowner. Other legislation mandates that landowners pay 20% of the cost for noxious weed control on their land. The legislature also enacted a pilot disposal program for pesticide containers. Several bills eased the procedure for creditors to encumber property. Agricultural suppliers and machinery repairmen will have more time in which to file a lien against the property. Borrowers no longer need to sign a waiver of the homestead exemption. A computerized central filing system was established for agricultural commodity liens so farm product buyers and subsequent creditors can be better informed of encumbrances. A debtor whose real estate mortgage is being foreclosed will have 10 (rather than 15) business days before the sale to designate a homestead exemption. Oilseed and edible bean growers who sell their commodities out of state will have to pay into the promotion fund. The definition of handler and processor for both products was expanded to include out-of-state elevators and warehouses. Wetland easements that the federal government attained after July 1, 1991 will be limited to 30 years. Gratis hunting licenses will be limited to landowners, and tenants actively engaged in farming. The authority of the state board of animal health was increased to include all animals confined in manmade structures.


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