Drought-stricken farmers in 27 Missouri counties are eligible for federal assistance after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a primary natural disaster area designation, Gov. Jay Nixon said. The designation this week from USDA Secretary Vilsack is for 14 counties that have suffered either extreme or exceptional drought, or have suffered severe drought for more than eight weeks. An additional 13 Missouri counties have been designated as contiguous disaster counties.
"Even though many parts of the state received enough precipitation to relieve last year's statewide drought, livestock and crop farmers in several northern and central Missouri counties have continued to struggle because they haven't gotten enough rain or snow," Gov. Nixon said. "This designation can provide additional help for Missouri's vital agriculture industry, and supplement the emergency drought relief program we initiated last year to help thousands of ranchers and farmers drill or deepen wells. We'll continue to stand with Missouri agriculture at every step of the recovery."
The 14 primary counties included under the designation are Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Mercer, Putnam, Randolph, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan. In addition, 13 counties have been named as contiguous disaster counties: Audrain, Boone, Carroll, Cooper, Grundy, Harrison, Howard, Lafayette, Linn, Livingston, Marion, Monroe and Pettis.
A disaster designation allows eligible farmers to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans.
In addition to keeping an eye on crops and livestock, producers should document any losses or additional costs experienced as a result of weather events, including drought. That information is often required for producers to be eligible for physical and/or production loss loan assistance from the FSA, as well as other assistance programs.
Affected farmers can contact their local FSA office for more information.