Drought relief application now open for Minnesota farmers

·1 min read

Minnesota livestock farmers and specialty crop producers can now apply for up to $7,500 per farm to offset expenses due to last year's drought. The money is being distributed through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's 2021 Agricultural Drought Relief Program. Details in Hmong, Somali and Spanish are available online.

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $8.1 million for the relief program for drought-related farm expenses between June 1, 2021, and May 23, 2022.

Any farm in Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties, as well as all other counties in the state except Goodhue, Rice, Wabasha and Winona, are eligible to apply for the disaster aid at https://www.mda.state.mn.us/droughtrelief.

Applications completed online or emailed must be received by 5 p.m. on July 6, 2022. Mailed applications must be postmarked July 6 and received no later than July 12, 2022 to be considered.

Examples of eligible expenses for specialty crop producers include water handling equipment; water hauling; wells; irrigation equipment; replacement plants, seeds, or seedlings; additional hired labor; and farmers’ market fees for canceled markets.

Livestock farmers may be eligible for costs including water-related expenses; feed-related expenses; custom baling; equipment rental; livestock transportation; livestock pond dredging; cover crop, pasture, or forage replanting; fencing; grazing rights; additional hired labor; and more.

If the total amount requested exceeds the funds available, all applications will be pro-rated.

Farm operators can email drought@state.mn.us or call the Grants Line at 651-201-6500 with questions.

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: Drought relief application opens for MN farmers