The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone's lives and the disruption continues. Early in the pandemic the virus was spreading among employees and meat processing plants. Some of them completely shut down for a time while almost all of them saw at least reduced processing capacity. The result was cattlemen had cattle ready for market that they had to keep in their lots for a while longer consuming more forage!

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources worked together to "streamline the process of approving haying and grazing" on state owned lands. Livestock producers that need more forage can contact their local Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Manager to talk about what options are available in their area. Area Wildlife Managers contact information is available on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website on the Grazing Map link.

Due to a drought in parts of Minnesota there was a shortage of forage, so hopefully these changes will help increase the forage supply for cattlemen. Remember that COVID-19 does NOT pose any sort of food safety concern. You cannot contract COVID-19 form any type of meat!