U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN), both members of the Agriculture Committee, announced  last week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering additional technical and financial assistance for farmers and livestock producers impacted by the ongoing drought.

This follows a letter sent by Klobuchar, Smith, and Representatives Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Angie Craig (D-MN), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) asking the department to consider authorizing emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land to aid livestock producers in areas affected by the drought.

“The drought across the upper Midwest has created incredibly difficult conditions for Minnesota’s farmers and livestock producers,” Klobuchar said. “I’m grateful the USDA is offering additional assistance during this challenging time, and I will continue pushing for policies and resources to meet the needs of our rural communities.”

“The severe drought that we’re experiencing right now is devastating for Minnesota agriculture,” Smith said. “Cattle producers are running out of hay to feed their herds and farmers are watching their crop yields drop.”

Farmers and livestock producers who have experienced losses due to the drought are encouraged to reach out to their local USDA service center to learn about relief program offerings. Programs include compensation for transportation expenses, cost-share and technical assistance, and guaranteed loans.

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