As drought tightens grip on Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz makes stop in Crookston to talk to affected farmers

About 35 farmers, including members of commodity and agricultural organizations and the Minnesota Legislature, gathered at Jim Reitmeier’s farm northwest of Crookston on July 22 to talk to Walz about the harm the dry conditions have caused their grain and row crops. Meanwhile, the damage the drought is wreaking on livestock producers’ farms and ranches is even worse, farmers said.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor update released Thursday, about 80% of Minnesota is in a moderate drought and about 20 counties have at least parts of them in a severe drought.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and farmer Jim Reitmeier (right) survey the dry conditions of Reitmeier’s fields north of Crookston on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks HeraldNick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Drought is more insidious and less visible than hail or flood damage so it’s sometimes difficult for people who don’t live on farms to understand what a serious issue it is for farmers and the financial loss it causes, Walz said.

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