Minnesota livestock farmers and specialty crop producers can now apply for up to $7,500 per farm in reimbursement for expenses incurred due to last year’s drought, through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) 2021 Agricultural Drought Relief Program (ADRoP).
“Last year’s drought caused hardship for lots of farmers, and we want to get help to them so they can pay a few bills,” MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen said. “Whether it was buying feed, installing irrigation, or something else, we know there were a lot of extra costs last year that we’re hoping to offset with this opportunity.”
The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $8.1 million for ADRoP, which will reimburse farm operators for drought-related expenses incurred after June 1, 2021, and before May 23, 2022.
Farms must be located in a county designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as a primary natural disaster area after July 19, 2021 and before January 1, 2022, or in a county contiguous to a designated county. All Minnesota counties except Goodhue, Rice, Wabasha, and Winona are eligible.
Eligible expenses for specialty crop producers include water handling equipment; water hauling; wells; irrigation equipment; replacement plants, seeds, or seedlings; additional hired labor; farmers’ market fees for canceled markets; and more.
Eligible expenses for livestock farmers include water-related expenses; feed-related expenses; custom bailing; equipment rental; livestock transportation; livestock pond dredging; cover crop, pasture, or forage replanting; fencing; grazing rights; additional hired labor; and more.
In addition to a completed application, you must submit an IRS Form W-9 and a list of all drought-related expenses. Documentation of these expenses does not need to be submitted with the application, but you must be able to make it available for examination if requested.
If the total amount requested from all eligible applicants during the initial application period exceeds the total amount of funds available, all applications will be pro-rated.
Applicants are highly encouraged to submit their application through the online grants management system to ensure it is received in a timely manner. Applications completed online or emailed must be received by 5 p.m. on July 6, 2022. Mailed applications must be postmarked July 6 and received no later than July 12, 2022 to be considered.
More information, including the application, is available on the MDA’s drought relief page. Farm operators can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Grants Line at 651-201-6500 with any questions.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications