ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds Minnesota farmers and ag lending institutions that the state legislature extended the length of mediation available for farmers in the Farmer-Lender Mediation Program from 90 to 150 days.

Minnesota farmers that are in debt can renegotiate, restructure or resolve farm debt through mandatory Farmer-Lender Mediation. Mandatory mediation means creditors cannot start a proceeding to collect a debt against ag property until an offer of mediation has been extended and, if the farmer so chooses, completed.

“This is a critical program for farmers — especially now when COVID-19 has caused the closing of agricultural markets,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “Having 60 more days to renegotiate or restructure will be a huge help in many cases.”

For more information, visit MDA’s Farm Advocate Program at mda.state.mn.us/farmadvocates or University of Minnesota Extension at https://bit.ly/2KmmAR8.