. (Photo by Glen Stubbe/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

Walz says farmers tell him they want to sell crops instead of bailout money

Governor visits storm-damaged areas near Dodge Center on Wednesday

July 09, 2019 - 10:46 am

Governor Walz says Minnesota farmers are appreciative of federal money they're receiving as compensation for income lost in the trade war with China, but they're also telling him that they'd rather sell their products.

"I recognize this as a safety net, it's needed," Walz told Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News.  "But, I encourage our federal leadership to come up with some solution to get these products out and back into a free market."

Under the Market Facilitation Program, Minnesota farmers received $681 million, the third-largest amount among farmers in individual states.

The only states that received more than Minnesota are Illinois, with $1.1 billion, and Iowa, with $988 million.

"This is basically pennies-on-the-dollar what they could have done," said Walz. "While it will help, it certainly isn't going to make them whole by any means."

Walz on Wednesday visits Dodge Center in southeastern Minnesota, where heavy rains are causing flooding conditions.  Walz said they may need a disaster declaration for residents of that area. 

"That, and low commodity prices have really put a strain on the agricultural economy," Walz said. "Everyone that I talk to would rather simply sell their products than receive a government check for this."

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