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Storm damage triggers Minnesota disaster loans

Storms in May ripped apart grain bins and mangled equipment. Loans through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture available to farmers hit by the storms.

A grain bin flattened by a storm
A grain bin lays flattened on May 19, 2022, near Alberta in west-central Minnesota on the Joe Stroman farm. It was hit by a storm on May 12.
Jeff Beach / Agweek
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ST. PAUL — Damage from spring storms has a triggered a zero-interest loan program through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The department's Rural Finance Authority Board on Tuesday, May 31, determined that an emergency exists in parts of Minnesota because severe weather in May, making zero-interest loans available for farmers whose operations were hit by the storms.

The resolution declares an emergency for the following counties: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Brown, Carlton, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Douglas, Faribault, Grant, Isanti, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Meeker, Morrison, Murray, Nobles, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Red Lake, Renville, Rock, Roseau, Saint Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wadena, Wilkin, Yellow Medicine, and adjacent counties.

The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance. The funds can be used to help clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and replace livestock.

The declaration applies to physical property damage and/or death of livestock taking place due to heavy rains and high winds in May 2022.

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A widespread derecho storm swept through Minnesota on May 12, with a collapsed grain bin killing one farmer in Kandiyohi County.

There was another round of storms Memorial Day weekend.

The storms include at least one confirmed tornado in Douglas and Todd counties.

For the disaster loans, farmers must have received at least 50% of their annual gross income from farming for the past three years. Farmers can work through their bank to secure the RFA loans.

The Minnesota Legislature this spring appropriated $2.5 million to account that funds the Disaster Recover Loan program, which has recently been used for highly pathogenic avian influenza poultry losses, drought, and COVID-19 expenses.

twisted irrigation pipes
Irrigation equipment lies twisted along U.S. Highway 59 south of Morris, Minnesota, on May 19, 2022.
Jeff Beach / Agweek

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Aric Putnam was elected to his second term in the Minnesota Senate in the November general election, which saw the Democratic Farmer and Labor Party flip enough Senate seats from red to blue that the party now controls both houses of the Legislature and saw Gov. Tim Walz win a second term. Putnam will chair the Senate Agriculture Committee
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