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Everyone Feels The Rain Relief, But Does It Make A Difference For Minnesota Farmers?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - In this severe drought, there are still plenty of veggies to go around from Dancing Gnome Farm out of Wabasha.

Owner Lauren Barry sells her crops at the Hopkins Farmers Market every Saturday morning. It's hard to tell by her colorful spread, but Barry says this has been one of the most challenging growing seasons for her southern Minnesota farm.

"We're having a really rough time with beets and carrots this year," said Barry.

Saturday's rainfall was needed, but Barry says the amount of rain was not a game changer.

"I mean, it's hard when we have such a deficit to make up the amount of rain we need in just one rain event, but we'll take any rain we can get," said Barry.

Va Yang has been experiencing a similar struggle at his Rosemount farm.

"[Our] bell peppers, some of them die because there's not enough water," said Yang.

He says this recent rain won't do much for what's already finished growing, but is promising for next season's surplus.

"We have some pickles right now where the plants turn to flowers, so we need the rain so the plant will produce more cucumbers," said Yang.

While vegetable farmers are obviously impacted by the severe drought, they are not the only kind of farmers celebrating this rain relief. Andre LaSalle, owns ForageScape Farm in Mille Lacs, where he raises pork, chicken, turkey and eggs. He needs the rain for his animals to eat because they are all 100% grass-fed.

"We haven't had pasture regrowth since early June and hay production has been really low too," he said.

LaSalle is surviving this season, but he says this drought will cut into supplies next year.

"We chose not to add more cattle to our herd this year because of the feed issue, so it'll probably have an effect on our beef production in 2022 more than now,"  said LaSalle.

The Department of Agriculture is now offering emergency assistance for farmers who report losses from the drought. They are also allowing emergency grazing and haying on land that's been set aside for conservation.

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