The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Whitten Building, Room 200A
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Vilsack:
On July 10, 2012, Governor Jay Nixon requested a primary disaster declaration for 114 counties in Missouri as a result of losses incurred by farmers and ranchers due to extreme drought conditions. An assessment by the state Farm Service Agency (FSA) has found that all counties in Missouri meet the disaster threshold of having losses of at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop or where individual farmers sustain losses of more than 30 percent.
Agriculture is a primary driver of Missouri's economy, and it is important that we provide the support our producers need as they suffer significant losses to crops, pasture, and livestock as a result of the record breaking heat and low precipitation. A disaster designation would give eligible producers in Missouri the additional support they need by allowing them to qualify for FSA emergency loans, emergency grazing and haying, and other financial assistance.
It is our hope that you will promptly grant Governor Nixon's request to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities recover from this severe drought. If you have any further questions regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. Once again, thank you for your consideration.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.)
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.)