USDA declares drought disaster for parts of Minnesota
Most Minnesota farmers escaped the worst of the drought, but those who didn't are eligible for federal loans to help cover crop and livestock losses.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 10 western and central Minnesota counties as primary disaster areas: Big Stone, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Swift and Wright.
It also applies to 16 counties bordering them: Anoka, Benton, Carver, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Lac Qui Parle, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Renville, Sibley, Stevens, Todd, Traverse and Yellow Medicine.
The declaration was announced Friday (Oct. 26) by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Rep. Collin Peterson.
They say the drought underscores the need for Congress to pass a new farm bill when it reconvenes so that farmers get the certainty they need to plan for next year.