USDA offering disaster assistance to Minnesota farmers impacted by drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be offering disaster relief to Minnesota farmers impacted by this year's drought, according to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

The USDA will be able to provide help with compensation for transportation costs, cost-share and technical assistance and guaranteed loans. Affected farmers and livestock producers are asked to contact their local USDA office.

The announcement comes after the senators and a bipartisan group of Minnesota congress members sent a letter asking the USDA to allow emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program land. Gov. Tim Walz also sent a similar letter.

According to the latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor, the majority of Minnesota is under a severe or extreme drought. The tough conditions have forced some cattle farmers into early retirement, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association says.