With the Senate in recess this month, I have continued my 105 county tour visiting with many of you. What was top among your concerns: the effects of this tremendous drought on your crops, livestock and family finances, as well as the tremendous need for policies which get this country back on the path to economic prosperity. Our state is making progress. Our nation needs to follow suit.
From one end of the state to the other, I have seen the dry hillsides and the fields of stunted crops and devastated pastures and ponds. Fall harvest will soon be underway, and it's then that we really will feel the true effects of Mother Nature's wrath. While we pray for the communities under water due to Hurricane Isaac, we hope for better weather for our state.
At the federal level I am doing all I can to help our farmers and ranchers who are struggling with these dry conditions. In fact, Governor Brownback and I were able to keep much needed water in Kansas reservoirs instead of being released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to meet navigation and conservation needs downstream. We were also able to persuade USDA to release CP 25 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands for emergency haying and grazing. This is the first time this has been allowed in the history of the program. And as soon as the Senate reconvenes after Labor Day, you have my assurance that emergency relief is my first priority.
My website has a page dedicated entirely to drought resources. It can be found here or at roberts.senate.gov. It includes links to federal and state resources for those suffering from drought conditions. I also released a public service announcement, urging Kansans to call their Farm Service Agency office for immediate assistance.