Long winter, rain hurting some Minn. farmers - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Long winter, rain hurting some Minn. farmers


SPRING GROVE, MN (WXOW)—Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture help struggling farmers.

He's asking for additional funding for cover crops in Minnesota.

Their struggles come after the long winter killed the alfalfa crop and rain prevented many farmers from planting on time.

Last nights three inches of rain is not what Fred Arnold wanted for his farm.

"That's enough for a while," Arnold said.

Even before the all rain, the long winter gave him a late start planting alfalfa and corn for his cattle.

"Normally we try to be done planting Mid-May, this year it was the sixth or seventh of June," Arnold said.

That means he won't have as big of a crop as last year.

"We have enough extra acres so in a poor year, we still have enough feed for our cattle," Arnold said.

But not everyone is as lucky.

"The late season is stressing them," Jerry Tesmer, University of Minnesota Extension Educator said. "They're trying to plant corn, trying to plant soy beans, trying to harvest hay and physically can't do three things at once; leaving farmers to decide which one of their businesses they're going to take care of.

Some planted alfalfa early and have since lost it.

"A good share of alfalfa froze," Tesmer said. "About 35-percent. We do have some hay here just not as much as we'd hoped for."

Which means farmers don't have as much hay to feed their cows and they could have to buy extra.

"Farmers are finding ways to work through it," Tesmer said "I spoke to a dairy nutritionist who said they could go up to 75-percent corn silage in ration if they had to mix other feeds with it."

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