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Who knew that droughts could be so darned stressful......

 "Gallows" humor is often used to alleviate tension or stress related to situations that aren't the least bit funny - hence the title of this article. 

The drought conditions that are currently so severe throughout much of the state began in northwest Minnesota with a dry fall in 2020, which was followed by a dry winter, spring and now summer. This weekend is going to be windy, with forecast temperatures in the 90's. High temperatures in the 90's are forecast to be with us until at least next week Friday, and only up to a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms in the forecast for Crookston on Tuesday night, Wednesday and Friday. Long story, short: it is very dry, forecast to get drier and our crops will bear the brunt. 

Droughts are obviously beyond human control and this lack of control can add to a crop or livestock producer's stress. While there is some comfort in being in the 'same boat' as friends and neighbors alike, drought-associated stress can be debilitating for some. Now is time to reach out to any friends or neighbors that you are used to seeing regularly, but have not recently been to church or the co-op for coffee as they typically are. 

University of Minnesota Extension has a website devoted to farm safety and mental health programs. Minnesota tax payers also fund many helpful programs listed in the Coping with Farm and Rural Stress brochure compiled by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. It might not be a bad idea to download and print a copy of this brochure and keep it handy just in case you have need to use or share it.

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