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With Collapsing Roofs and Flooding in Mind, Farmers Weather the Storm

March 14, 2019 08:10 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Things are not looking good for farmers. Between the trade wars and low prices, many Minnesota dairy and corn producers are struggling to stay afloat. Now, they are also battling the weather.

TJ Stettler works at KBS Construction & Ag Equipment in Plainview. He was busy over the last couple weeks repairing roofs on dairy barns. "There have been at least 20 customers that we have dealt with one way or another," he said. "There's a couple farms that had catastrophic failure that lost animals. In one instance not far from Rochester…  they had to sell their cows because of it."

With potential flooding now added to the mix, insurance companies like Country Financial are fielding more calls than usual. "What I am finding is a lot of times they [Notes:farmers]  haven't been educated on what they actually have and what they don't have," said Sarah Bloom, an Insurance Agent at Country Financial.

Bloom says broad form coverage includes any structure on the farm in the case of snow and ice damage. Flooding coverage is separate and farmers have to meet certain criteria. 

She says she empathizes with clients, being a dairy farmer herself. "We are selling on Friday because we can't weather through it," said Bloom. "The prices have gotten to a point where we are losing too much money on a daily basis to keep operating, so we are going down a different avenue. We are going to do beef now."

In times like this, many are clinging to hope.

"It's got to get better," said Randi Kallas, the Managing Editor of Agri News. "Hopefully trade with Canada and Mexico is opening up, farmers can start making money on the crops they are producing and dairy farmers can start making money."

"We are doing everything we can to make sure people can recover," said Minnesota Senator Tina Smith.

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Credits

Hannah Tiede

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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