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DROUGHT

"Growing Together" columnist Don Kinzler spends time with North Dakota’s Cass County Soil Conservation District, which is tasked with planting tree windbreaks and establishing conservation measures throughout the county.
"Fielding Questions" columnist Don Kinzler also answers questions about spraying newly seeded grass and dealing with quackgrass in raspberries.
Quaal Dairy in Otter Tail County sold off most of its herd in April. Vernon Quaal says the 2021 drought drastically cut into its feed supply and the rising prices for feed made maintaining the 300 cow herd unstainable. Quaal says many dairies are suffering. But he is determined to build back up, with a crop of bred heifers ready to calve in September.
"Growing Together" columnist Don Kinzler says the generous spring moisture has helped, but some lawn damage from 2021 could still be present as the summer begins.

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Northern Minnesota trees were hit especially hard in 2021 when the area set records in temperature and below average rainfall — and trees will be affected for years to come.
A series of storms brought around 4 feet of snow to some parts of the region. While the storm and its aftermath continue to stress ranchers and cattle, there is optimism that it spells the beginning of the end of a dry cycle.
Minnesota lawmakers met for the first time on Tuesday to start bridging gaps between plans approved by the House and Senate that could send out grants and loans to farmers and ranchers.
Hay prices are up $50-$100 per ton over last year, part of the lingering effects of a drought in northern Minnesota and much of the western U.S.
With two competing versions of the bill in the Legislature, the House and Senate will likely have to negotiate on a compromise in conference committee.
A proposal to send aid to farmers and ranchers and to provide money to plant trees and seedlings after historically dry conditions in 2021 picked up bipartisan support.

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In August, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported parts of Minnesota were in the worst drought category for exceptional drought for the first time since the monitor began in 1994.
I was ready to till up the garden and buy my vegetables and fruit at the farmers market, but my husband, Brian, and daughter, Ellen, were determined to save it.
The drought that Minnesota experienced earlier in the year can negatively affect pumpkin growth and pumpkin harvests.

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