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Gov. Walz Temporarily Eases Trucking Regulations To Help Livestock Producers Impacted By Drought

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Wednesday to support livestock producers hurting for lack of feeding following this year's historic drought.

In a statement, the governor said that his order waives trucking regulations to allow livestock producers to get access to high-quality feed. The order takes effect immediately and will last 30 days.

Over the summer, the extreme and prolonged drought affected areas of rangeland and pasture across Minnesota, causing livestock farmers to adjust how they feed their animals. Some farmers have already used up their hay reserved for winter and require additional feed in order to keep their livestock healthy.

"When I travelled across the state this summer I heard directly from our farmers and saw firsthand the impacts of a drought that caused early harvests, wildfires, dry fields, and pastures," Walz said, in a statement. "The seasons may be changing but the effects of this drought aren't over, and our farmers still need our help."

For the last several weeks, drought conditions have improved. Some corn and soybean farmers even reported better-than-expected yields despite the drought. Even so, the governor has for months relaxed restrictions in order to help farmers get access to hay, forage, water, and other feed commodities.

In September, Walz announced a $10 million drought relief package to support Minnesota farmers. However, the governor has yet to call a special session due to a political standstill at the capitol involving frontline worker pay and the possibility that Republicans will oust Jan Malcolm, the state's health commissioner.

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