Governor Jay Nixon has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) to conduct damage assessment reports for all of Missouri's 114 counties and the city of St. Louis. Those reports will determine the extent of damage to crops and livestock brought on by the excessive heat and severe drought conditions persisting throughout the state.
The Governor and his administration have been monitoring drought conditions through the spring months, and will continue to do so into the summer. Governor Nixon said the state of Missouri offers a hay directory for farmers looking to purchase hay for their livestock. Those selling hay also are encouraged to list themselves on the directory. The hay directory can be found through the state website, www.MO.gov.
The Governor's request for damage assessments from the drought is the first step in the process of declaring counties as "primary disaster areas". Those counties are identified as losing at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop, or where individual farmers suffer production losses of more than 30 percent.
A disaster designation would allow eligible farmers to be considered for assistance from the USDA's Farm Service Agency. Farmers who qualify would receive FSA emergency loans. Affected farmers would apply to FSA, which considers each application individually on its merits. Farmers in counties contiguous to primary disaster areas also could be eligible for assistance.