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Parts of the state received more than 400 percent of the typical amount of rainfall, resulting in flooded fields and unworkable field conditions for many producers in Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and Representatives Jim Hagedorn (MN-1), Angie Craig (MN-2), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Tom Emmer (MN-6), Collin Peterson (MN-7), and Pete Stauber (MN-8) urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide federal assistance to Minnesota farmers overwhelmed by significant wet weather during this year’s harvest. In a letter to the USDA, members of the Minnesota Congressional Delegation offered their support for Governor Tim Walz’s request for a Department of Agriculture Secretarial Disaster Declaration to assist communities that are recovering from catastrophic weather conditions this fall. 

“Flooded fields have created unworkable field conditions for many producers in Minnesota. During September and October, parts of the state received more than 400 percent of the typical amount of rainfall, and the Red River reached record levels that are normally seen during the spring thaw. As a result, the harvest of sugarbeets, potatoes, edible beans, soybeans, wheat, corn, and other crops has slowed or stopped altogether,” the members wrote.

“A disaster declaration will provide much needed financial support and open the door to eligibility for important disaster programs such as the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Congress appropriated funds for WHIP+ to provide support during disaster situations like this, and we ask that you act quickly to provide certainty for Minnesotans.”

Full text of the letter can be found below:

Dear Secretary Perdue:

We write to offer our strong support of the request for a secretarial disaster declaration submitted to you on behalf of the State of Minnesota. This fall, heavy rain and flooding has created significant harvest challenges for many farmers in Minnesota. For that reason, we urge you to expedite your consideration of this request to provide vital resources to struggling communities.

Flooded fields have created unworkable field conditions for many producers in Minnesota. During September and October, parts of the state received more than 400 percent of the typical amount of rainfall, and the Red River reached record levels that are normally seen during the spring thaw. As a result, the harvest of sugarbeets, potatoes, edible beans, soybeans, wheat, corn, and other crops has slowed or stopped altogether. We also ask that you take crop quality losses into account as you make decisions relating to disaster assistance.

A disaster declaration will provide much needed financial support and open the door to eligibility for important disaster programs such as the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). Congress appropriated funds for WHIP+ to provide support during disaster situations like this, and we ask that you act quickly to provide certainty for Minnesotans.

Thank you for considering this request. We stand ready to assist you in your relief efforts as necessary.

Sincerely,

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