University of Minnesota Extension helps struggling farmers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota Extension is providing free help to farmers who may be struggling in an agricultural economic downturn.

The Minnesota Daily reports that the extension's Farm Information Line is connecting farmers with retired agricultural financial and business experts who will provide analysis and advice.

Kevin Klair is an agricultural economist with Extension. He says the Extension began the program more than a year ago to help address farmers' growing concerns about financial burdens.

Extension Associate Dean Michael Schmitt says low crop prices and poor weather during the planting and growing season have hurt Minnesota farmers over the last few years.

The line has helped over 100 farmers. Klair says more farmers are expected to utilize the counseling resource as the end of this year's harvest approaches.