The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is implementing the new Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative. The program was designed to provide financial assistance for Minnesota dairy farmers who enroll for 5 years in the USDA Farm Service Agency's Dairy Margin Coverage program. Being a corn and soybean farmer has been difficult the last 4 or 5 years. It has been really tough for dairy farmers with extremely low milk prices.

"We know that this has been a tough year for agriculture, and our dairy farmers need our support. I'm proud that our budget secured $8 million for the Dairy Assistance, Investment and Relief Initiative to make sure our farmers can continue doing the work they love and providing for our state," said Governor Tim Walz.

Applications are being accepted now through October 1, 2019. In order to qualify farmers must have produced less than 160,000 hundredweight of Milk in 2018 and have signed up for the Dairy Margin Coverage program. Payments will be made by the MDA on a rolling basis with the first payment two to 4 weeks after successfully filling out the application. Dairy farmers possibly could receive a second payment this fall after the application period depending on remaining available funds.