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Drought Relief Available for Minnesota Livestock and Specialty Crop Producers

Starting approximately June 21st Minnesota livestock farmers and specialty crop producers can apply for up to $7,500 from the 2021 Agriculture Drought Relief Program. These funds are for expenses incurred between June 1, 2021 and May 23, 2022 solely because of the drought that you would not have had if there was not a drought. These funds do not cover lost revenue. 

To be eligible for these funds you must be livestock or specialty crop farm. A farm is defined as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year. This includes nurseries, greenhouses, and certain non-profit organizations that operate as farms. Livestock farm includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, poultry, goats, mules, bison, sheep, horses, farmed cervidae, ratitae, and llamas. Specialty crop follows the definition of the USDA’s specialty crop block grant program. Only one application per farm will be accepted. Farms in all counties in Minnesota except Goodhue, Rice, Wabasha, and Winona are eligible. 

Applications can be completed online, downloaded and emailed or printed and mailed in. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) encourages farmers to use the online application if possible. For your application to be consider complete you must complete and sign the application, fill out an IRS Form W-9, and provide a list of drought-related expenses. All pieces of the application must be submitted or post marked by the deadline at 5:00 pm. This deadline could change and you should refer to the MDA website for updates or contact your local Extension office.  

You local Extension educator can answer any questions you may have and assist you in filling out the application. If you do not have access to a computer or printer the Extension office can provide you with the application. Your local Extension educator will be updated on changes to the application timeline as well. Residents in Fillmore and Houston counties can email or call 507-765-3896 or 507-725-5807 for assistance. Much of the information in this article comes from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website page on the 2021 drought relief program.

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