Minnesota dairy farmers see unusual number of barn collapses

PINE ISLAND, Minn. (AP) — Dairy farmers across Minnesota are struggling to find shelter for hundreds of livestock after at least 45 barns collapsed under the weight of this winter’s heavy snow.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that some farmers lost animals in the barn collapses, while others are scrambling to keep their livestock healthy.

The Minnesota Milk Producers Association says there are usually only one or two barn collapses in a typical winter. The association’s executive director, Lucas Sjostrom, attributes the 45 barn collapses in part to the snow’s excess volume and weight, aging barns and structural designs that are open to promote ventilation.

Minnesota lawmakers unanimously passed legislation Thursday to help farmers repair buildings damaged by the heavy snow. The bill expands a disaster recovery loan program to include damage related to winter weather.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

Associated Press

Associated Press

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