The first of nearly three-thousand drought relief checks are going out this week to livestock farmers and specialty crop producers in Minnesota.  State Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says requests totaled nearly 19 million dollars, over double what the legislature appropriated, so payments will be pro-rated:

“It really varies, but the average check is somewhere north of 25-hundred dollars….  Really good to have that go out.”

Producers in all counties except Goodhue, Rice, Wabasha and Winona were eligible for drought-relief grants:

“We know this couldn’t make it (farmers’ financial situation) whole, but it’s a recognition that farmers went through a lot last year, and that this is gonna help ’em pay a bill or two, or buy a load of hay.”