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Central Minnesota dairy farmer says less than an inch of rain has fallen since May

A dairy farmer in central Minnesota is not ready to panic despite being significantly short on moisture.

Ben Mergen of Albany says his area received less than a half inch of rain the entire month of June and maybe a half inch so far in July.

“And the crops are all over the place. There’s some of it that we’ll be lucky to make silage, but overall I’m surprised the crops don’t look too bad.”

He tells Brownfield that’s not the case on sandier ground, where some corn looks “pineappled” because the leaves have rolled up.

Mergen is concerned about hay supplies in the months ahead.

“Alfalfa is going to be tough around here. Our first cutting was good, second cutting was about half of that. We’ll take third (cutting) in a couple days and it doesn’t look much better than the second.”

He says the drought’s biggest impact so far might be on the forage side as hay prices at auction are skyrocketing. 

All of Stearns County where Mergen farms is suffering from severe to extreme drought according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. 

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