(St. Paul, MN) – The Rural Finance Authority Board issued a Disaster Declaration for the state of Minnesota yesterday, a move which will benefit farmers suffering losses from the harsh winter weather.

The declaration now makes low-interest loans available for farmers whose operations suffered barn collapses or other damage due to the record winter snowfall.  Governor Tim Walz signed a bill yesterday allowing the RFA to declare a disaster due to excessive snowfall.

The funds are available to farmers for expenses not covered by insurance.

The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help clean up, repair or replace farm structures and septic and water systems, as well as replace cropping inputs, feed, and livestock.

The program also offers affordable financing to repair existing agricultural buildings to pre-disaster conditions.  Eligible farmers must have received at least 50 percent of their annual gross income from farming for the past three years and will work through their bank to secure the loans from the RFA.

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