Saint Paul, MN

Drought-affected farmers in Minnesota can now apply for a zero-interest credit

Paula Carlsen

SAINT PAUL, MN - On July 14, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Rural Finance Authority Board declared a drought emergency in the state, making zero-interest loans immediately available to Minnesota farmers whose companies are struggling due to a lack of rain.

The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be utilized to help businesses recover lost revenue or expenses that are not covered by other available financings.

The cash may be used to aid with cleaning, repairing, or replacing farm structures, repairing or replacing septic and water systems, restocking seed, fertilizer (or other crop inputs), and feeding livestock and poultry, as well as assisting with other farm-related expenses.

“The RFA board members voted unanimously to make these disaster recovery funds available because of current drought conditions,” according to Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “This zero-interest loan program is especially important for farmers whose crops and livestock are suffering from the drought and were not insured or were underinsured.”

Farmers in Minnesota counties categorized as being in severe drought or worse (D2+ on the US Drought Monitor's scale) as well as farmers in adjacent counties are eligible to apply for the grant.

Farmers must have earned at least 50 percent of their annual gross income from farming in the preceding three years to be eligible. Additionally, they must acquire loans from the RFA through their bank. The rate on the RFA portion of the loan has been decreased to a flat rate of 0.00 percent.

Interested parties can learn more about the Disaster Recovery Loan program by visiting the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.

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