Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Hay, where's the grass? Wildlife areas opened to grazing, mowing

Author:

A scarcity of livestock forage has led Minnesota to open parts of 43 wildlife management areas to grazing and haying.

The DNR made the announcement Thursday, saying the move affects 922 acres where managers had already planned burns or other disturbances to grassland.

But the decision immediately led to some concerns about the possible effect on wildlife, particularly the pheasants that hunters will pursue this fall. At the Pioneer Press, outdoors writer Dave Orrick envisions the loss of cover for pheasants. Orrick cites anecdotal accounts that -- while it's more expensive than usual -- livestock feed is available. He says critics will see the DNR's action more as a subsidy for farmers than the emergency response it's been labelled.

Livestock forage has been in short supply since last year's drought. But the shortage was exacerbated by a winterkill that wiped out many Minnesota alfalfa fields this spring. That has livestock producers scrambling for hay and digging deeper to pay for it.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin recently visited with a farmer who's mowing the ditches on his land to come up with hay. Eric Walker of Zumbro Falls told the paper "This year it's huge — everyone is mowing ditches and waters. You get hay where you can."

The acreage the DNR has opened to haying and grazing is primarily in southern Minnesota, but also includes some central and northwestern counties.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related