Some producers are less than a week away from running out of feed, reads information on his office’s website.

In 2011 farmers were faced with high prices on corn and beans, forcing many to opt out of alfalfa, according to a report by Fox 47, a news affiliate in Rochester. Minnesota. In 2012 it was the drought that hampered production.

"I keep saying that I'll deal with the hand I've been dealt but we just can't get moving forward," livestock producer Brian Goihl told the news station.

Goihl’s fields sit empty, as does his storage shed. He only has two weeks of feed supply remaining.

Franken's letter to Vilsack on Wednesday requested that the Secretary waive the current prohibition on planting forage and hay crops on prevented planting acres. Farmers would then be allowed to help replenish the dwindling supply of feed and forage by planting emergency crops on these barren acres now and harvesting it before November 1.


"I have been working with farmers, farm organizations, and officials from your agency to find a solution that could address this serious problem," Franken wrote to Vilsack. "The solution we have identified requires your agency to waive the requirement that prevented planting acres not be harvested until November 1st.

"Waiving this requirement will allow affected producers to harvest cover crops earlier and utilize them to help alleviate feed and forage shortages."  FG

—Compiled from Fox 47 story and Sen. Al Franken news release