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Paynesville Press - Oct. 1, 2003

Stearns County Commissioners Meeting

By Michael Jacobson

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners took the following actions at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

-The board requested to be included in the federal agricultural disaster area declaration. Earlier in September, Governor Tim Pawlenty had announced a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare parts of Minnesota, including Stearns County, as an agricultural disaster area based on this summer's drought.

According to USDA statistics, crop losses will amount to nearly $45 million in Stearns County alone. An estimated 3,700 farmers have been affected, and approximately 40 percent of the corn crop, 50 percent of the soybeans, and 30 percent of the alfalfa were destroyed by the drought.

If Stearns County were declared an agricultural disaster area, farmers would be eligible for emergency loans through the USDA.

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