In response to severe drought conditions across the state, Governor Tim Walz yesterday sent a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting assistance to aid Minnesota’s livestock producers by relieving the immediate impacts of drought on grazing land.
Governor Walz wrote in support of an implementation plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in Minnesota counties experiencing Level D2 or greater drought conditions, reducing forage pressures on Minnesota’s livestock producers. As of the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on July 8, nearly 40 percent of Minnesota is suffering under Level D2 or greater drought conditions.
The quality of forage on CRP lands continues to deteriorate under drought conditions, and delaying access until August 1 will eliminate the advantages of the resource. If producers cannot get quality feed to their livestock, they will have no other options than to sell animals or purchase hay to haul in.