North Dakota's Agriculture Department has set up a hotline to try to help farmers and ranchers south of Bismarck-Mandan affected by protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says many producers need to finish seasonal work before winter sets in, and they're having problems trying to find willing truck drivers and custom silage-chopping services.
Protesters say their activities are peaceful, but some producers in the area say they've been harassed.
Goehring says the free hotline is aimed at helping producers and those looking for work to connect with one another. The Farm/Ranch Emergency Assistance Hotline number 701-425-8454.
Agriculture Department employees will answer calls weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Callers can leave messages on evenings and weekends. The service is free of charge.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is calling on President Barack Obama to take action against the Dakota Access pipeline.
Chairman David Archambault II says in a statement that Energy Transfer Partners has ignored the Obama administration's request to voluntarily shut down work within 20 miles of Lake Oahe while the Army Corps of Engineers consider reforming how it plans infrastructure projects.
The Dallas-based company resumed construction Tuesday on private land in southern North Dakota for the 3.8 billion pipeline. That followed an appeals court ruling over the weekend that denied the tribe's request for an emergency injunction. Work is still prohibited on corps land bordering and under the lake, which is a source of water for the tribe.
Archambault says Obama has the power "to change the fate" of 17 million people who stand to lose clean water, but the chairman does not specify what type of action. Representatives from the White House and pipeline company did not immediately respond to requests.