The wet summer for farmers in southern Minnesota hit a new level last week with torrential downpours making lakes of countless crop acres. Now a week later, the stage of recovery varies greatly through the region.
Near Walnut Grove in Cottonwood County, Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) board member Jean Knakmuhs said her farm received as much as 15 inches of rain Tuesday morning. Area rivers are well over their banks, causing severe flooding in area farm fields. The amount of water still standing on the fields, along with flooded roadways blocking access, have made it impossible to assess the total damage.
Meanwhile further west near Lake Wilson, MCGA board member Bryan Biegler said farmers took on near double digits of rain, but fields are now largely drained. While he is expecting some yield loss, he is not anticipating a major impact if the dry weather continues. In fact, he hopes to get back in the field for spraying later this week.
In response to the recent rain, the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority (RFA) is offering farmers in 36 counties a zero-percent Disaster Loan Program for flood clean-up, repair and replacement costs not covered by insurance.
The loans can be used to help clean up farm operations, repair or replace farm structures, as well as replace seed, other crop inputs, feed and livestock. The loan may also be used to repair and restore farm real estate that was damaged by flooding.
For more information on the no-interest loan program, click here. As with other RFA loans, the Disaster Loan program will be available for farmers through their existing agricultural lenders.