The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Monday, July 26, technical and financial assistance is available to help Minnesota farmers and livestock producers recover from the current severe drought. “Unfortunately, conditions continue to deteriorate across Minnesota with more than half of the state experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions”.
Widespread drought and unusually prolonged high temperatures have prompted Alberta Beef Producers to urge all levels of government to find ways to help ranchers and mixed farmers weather what is becoming a crisis. “It’s extremely stressful on people — you can hear it in people’s voices,” said ABP chair Melanie Wowk, whose ranch is in the Two Hills area east of Edmonton.
The United States Department of Agriculture is authorizing emergency procedures to help agricultural producers impacted by extreme drought conditions. This year farmer and ranchers all across the country are dealing with limited rainfall, but especially in our Western states. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 56% of the U.S. population is in some type of drought.
In its largest set of declarations since mid-May, the USDA designated 101 counties in the Midwest and West as natural disaster areas due to drought. The designations make farmers and ranchers eligible for USDA emergency loans to covers such needs as the replacement of equipment and livestock or financial reorganization.
“I can assure you heading forward there are going to be some areas - running right through the heart of the Midwest - that are going to be a little bit too wet by the time we get to the fourth of July, meaning we'll be experiencing lowland flooding and some loss of nitrogen just by leaching,” says USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey.
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