Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 19-36, declaring an emergency and lifting regulations on motor carriers and drivers to alleviate the strain on farmers in western Minnesota during a particularly difficult harvest season. This action comes one day after Governor Walz met with around fifty farmers and agriculture leaders in East Grand Forks to discuss the weather-related crisis facing farms in the region. Those present asked the Governor to lift restrictions on drivers and carriers transporting propane and liquid fuels to provide direct assistance and alleviate the fuel shortage in the area.
Farmers reported that wet conditions have damaged crops, prevented harvesting, and slowed the processing and transportation of harvested goods, creating widespread economic concerns for farmers and the region. The high moisture content of the harvest has increased demand for propane used for drying, just as the agricultural livestock heating season and the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program began.
“This has been a stressful year for Minnesota farmers. The recent wet weather has only exacerbated these challenges to create the unprecedented crisis we now face, with crops sitting unharvested in soaked fields and truckloads of product that can’t be brought to market,” said Governor Walz. “To our farmers: I am listening. This Executive Order will help farms get the fuel they need, and our team will continue to look into actions we can take to support our agricultural industry through these catastrophic conditions.”