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Associated Press, Published August 24 2009

Report: Minnesota farmers facing tough 2009, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS -- A survey of farm management instructors in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system suggests Minnesota farmers are facing a difficult couple of years.

The system says Monday it surveyed its 73 farm business management instructors from July 14 to 29.

It found that 40 percent of the farmers enrolled in the program expected to lose money this year, and projections suggest many farmers be forced out of business in 2010.

The financial programs are worst for hog and dairy farmers because the prices they receive for their products are less than the costs of production.

Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson says the survey serves as an early warning system for the difficulties ahead.

Each year, between 3,000 and 3,500 farmers enroll in the system's farm business management program.