Agriculture

Drought relief checks will begin to be sent out this week

PROPORTIONED AMOUNTS … Comments

The amount of requests for help more than doubled the available funds

Checks will begin going out this week to ranchers and specialty crop producers who have applied for the 2021 Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Agricultural Drought Relief Program (ADRoP).

St. PAUL, Minn. — Checks will begin going out this week to ranchers and specialty crop producers who have applied for the 2021 Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Agricultural Drought Relief Program (ADRoP).

A total of 2,922 of the 3,000 applications received were approved for a total of $18.9 million. The total amount requested is more than double the $8.1 million appropriated by the Legislature ADROP this spring.

Because the law requires all eligible applicants to receive the payment, the checks will be prorated for 41.9% of the amount farmers were eligible to receive. While the legislation allows up to $7,500 per eligible farmer, the maximum payment per farmer will be $3,143.

“We know it’s not going to relieve people of the additional costs they had last year,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Tom Petersen. “But it should help people pay a few bills, and that’s important at this time of year.”

Due to farmers submitting incomplete applications or having to submit paperwork, the process took a little longer than expected, but checks are now being processed and mailed as quickly as possible, Petersen said.

Drought-related costs incurred after June 1, 2021 and through May 23, 2022 were eligible for funding.

Eligible costs for specialty crop producers include water treatment equipment; transportation of water; wells; irrigation equipment; spare plants, seeds or seedlings; additional paid work; farmers market fees for canceled markets; and more.

Acceptable costs for livestock producers include water-related costs; feed costs; custom bookmark; equipment rental; animal transportation; dredging of livestock ponds; transplanting cover crops, pastures or fodder; fencing; animal grazing rights; additional paid work; and more.

Farms must be located in a county designated by the USDA as a major disaster area after July 19, 2021 and through January 1, 2022, or in a county adjacent to a designated county. All Minnesota counties except Goodhue, Rice, Wabash, and Winona were eligible.

— Minnesota Department of Agriculture

https://www.morningagclips.com/drought-relief-checks-begin-mailing-this-week/ Drought relief checks will begin to be sent out this week

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