The Elk-Stored Crop Damage Prevention Grant is offered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to help producers protect stored forage from damage by elk. Historically, elk herds present in northwest Minnesota have caused some amount of damage to standing or stored crops, as well as fences. As a result, the MDA is appropriated funds to pay claims from producers who have sustained this damage.

During FY 2019 – 2021, an average of $114,740 per year was paid by the MDA in elk damage claims. Of this amount, an average of $23,817 per year was paid for damage to stored forage. Options, such as fencing or other barriers, exist to protect stored forage from elk damage. Currently the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources can provide up to $5,000 in materials to help protect stored forage from elk damage. This grant program is meant to help affected producers take measures to protect stored forage from elk damage.

The Minnesota Legislature appropriated $40,000 to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture for these grants, with $20,000 available for fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) and $20,000 available for fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023). A producer may apply to receive a maximum of $20,000 per fiscal year. We expect to award one to five grants each year, but the final number depends on the size of awards.

Grant applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications electronically to Applicants should contact the MDA (NiCole Rawski, 651-201-6095) at least one week prior to the due date if they would like to discuss other submission methods.

Grant applications will be accepted monthly as listed below. Grant applications must be received by the MDA by 11:59 pm on the last day of the month to be considered in that month’s application pool. Grant applications will be accepted each fiscal year until all funds have been granted.

Fiscal Year 2022 - $20,000 available - grant application periods:

  • November 1 – November 30, 2021
  • December 1 – December 31, 2021
  • January 1 – January 31, 2022
  • February 1 – February 28, 2022
  • March 1 – March 31, 2022
  • April 1 – April 30, 2022

Fiscal Year 2023 - $20,000 available - grant application periods:

  • November 1 – November 30, 2022
  • December 1 – December 31, 2022
  • January 1 – January 31, 2023
  • February 1 – February 28, 2023
  • March 1 – March 31, 2023
  • April 1 – April 30, 2023

Applications not selected for funding in a given grant application period will be considered in subsequent application periods. Unfunded applicants may request a summary of the reviewers’ comments on their proposal and submit a revised application.

Applications meeting the minimum criteria but received after funds in a fiscal year have been exhausted will be carried over until funds are available in the next fiscal year. The MDA will also announce on the website when all funds for the fiscal year have been depleted.

The MDA is not responsible for any technical or logistical problems resulting in the MDA not receiving the application on time. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that submission is received by the MDA before the deadline.

Eligible projects must:

  • Aim to stop elk damage to stored crops.
  • Not start until the grant contract is signed by all parties and has reached its start date.
  • Be conducted in Minnesota.

Examples of eligible projects include fencing, barriers or other measures that will exclude elk from areas where crops are stored.