The worsening drought is top-of-mind as Governor Tim Walz and state Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen visited a Polk County farm in northwestern Minnesota this morning (Thurs).  The governor says he’s hearing loud and clear, especially from livestock producers, that they need access to C-R-P (Conservation Reserve Program) land for forage:

“The numbers are pretty stunning in this county alone about what would happen if some of that was able to be opened up, and those are things that I talk to (U-S Agriculture) Secretary (Tom) Vilsack about.”

Walz says farmers probably don’t want to hear more about debt, but zero-interest loans from the Rural Finance Authority maybe in the short run can make somewhat of a difference.  Walz says his instructions to MN-DOT for ditch-mowing and to the D-N-R are to lean in the direction so farmers can get access to some of the forage while there’s still time.