Agriculture committee receives update on drought, proposal to help farmers


Inside the midst of An monumental drought that persists throughout a lot of the state, The house Agriculture Finance and Coverage Committee held an informational listening to Tuesday to acquire an replace on current circumstances and converse about a proposed aid package deal To assist The numerous farmers Who’re struggling.

Division of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen informed members the drought is the worst in many years, probably since 1988.

In mid-August, 90% of the state was beneath a extreme drought and 25 counties are nonetheless experiencing these circumstances, whereas 17% of the state, primarily in northern Minnesota, is in an extreme drought.

Livestock producers and dairy farmers are confronted with hay shortages And fewer forage to feed their animals, whereas some crop farmers are seeing decrease yields and extreme quality.

Petersen sassist that although crop farmers have A safety internet in place with crop insurance coverage, livestock and particularty crop farmers who produce Vegatables and fruits don’t have equally strong safeguards, and the department’s currentation to the committee outlined the $10 million drought aid package deal recently proposed by Gov. Tim Walz.

It consists of $5 million in speedy response grants To current aid for livestock and particularty crop producers and $5 million for the state’s Disaster Restoration Mortgage Program. Administered by The agricultural Finance Authority, This method would supply quick no-curiosity loans to farmers impacted by the drought.

“This package deal wouldn’t make anyone complete, it assists pay a invoice or two,” Petersen sassist. “If we’re going To imagine about drought aid, That is one factor we might do Which might assist A lot Of mom and father.”

He sassist the package deal is scalable and the greenback portions Could be adsimplyed up or down Counting on The want shifting forward however that ready till 2022 to take movement simply makes factors Extra sturdy For everyone and the state can act more shortly than the federal authorities To current assist.

In a letter to the committee, the Minnesota Farmers Union expressed “strong assist” for the aid package deal, saying the speedy response grants mirror a request it made earlier this summer time and that They Need to be “swift To administer, simply accessible, and with no or restricted value share.”  

If There’s not a particular session referred to as by the governor, the Legislature Should wait to till it reconvenes Jan. 31, 2022 To behave on the aid package deal.