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Minnesota opens applications for drought relief

The 2021 drought was most intense in northern Minnesota but producers in all but four Minnesota counties will be eligible for state aid.

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, right, with dairy farmer Michael Roers, views corn stressed by the drought during a 2021 visit to Douglas County.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota livestock farmers and specialty crop producers can now apply for up to $7,500 per farm in reimbursement for expenses incurred due to last year’s drought.

Applications opened Tuesday, June 21, for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 2021 Agricultural Drought Relief Program, or ADRoP.

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $8.1 million for ADRoP, which will reimburse farm operators for drought-related expenses incurred after June 1, 2021, and before May 23, 2022.

The application is available online on the department's drought relief page .

Don't have great records of your drought-related expenses? You can still apply. Click to learn more

Farms must be in a county designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a primary natural disaster area after July 19, 2021, and before January.1, 2022, or in a county contiguous to a designated county. All Minnesota counties except Goodhue, Rice, Wabasha and Winona are eligible.

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

Eligible expenses for livestock farmers include water-related expenses; feed-related expenses; custom bailing; equipment rental; livestock transportation; livestock pond dredging; cover crop, pasture, or forage replanting; fencing; grazing rights; additional hired labor; and more.

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Thom Petersen

“Last year’s drought caused hardship for lots of farmers, and we want to get help to them so they can pay a few bills,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said in a news release. “Whether it was buying feed, installing irrigation, or something else, we know there were a lot of extra costs last year that we’re hoping to offset with this opportunity.”

In addition to a completed application, you must submit an IRS Form W-9 and a list of all drought-related expenses. Documentation of these expenses does not need to be submitted with the application, but you must be able to make it available for examination if requested.

If the total amount requested from all eligible applicants during the initial application period exceeds the total amount of funds available, all applications will be pro-rated.

Applicants are highly encouraged to submit their application through the online grants management system to ensure it is received in a timely manner. 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.

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

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