JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- On Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon traveled the state to survey damage from Missouri's hot, dry summer and vowed continued support for areas most severely affected by the lack of rain.
While near Ewing, Missouri today, Governor Nixon toured the Sharpe family farm and met with Greg Sharpe and other area farmers to assess the hardships they have faced so far during these extremely dry conditions. The Sharpe family farms 800 acres of corn and soybeans in northeast Missouri.
“My administration will continue to work with Missouri farmers as they endure a drought that is severely affecting our crops and livestock,” Gov. Nixon said. “Last week, I asked the USDA to issue a disaster designation for 114 Missouri counties. As of today, Secretary Vilsack has issued that designation for 32 counties affected by drought, providing access to low-interest loans and other assistance that will help our farmers recover. As a state, we will continue to stand with Missouri farmers at every step of this disaster and throughout the recovery process. Together, we will ensure that a strong agriculture industry remains the backbone of Missouri’s economy.”
The Governor also said it was important to remember that the hardships for farmers also are coming at the same time that the prolonged heat and drought have led to hundreds of fires across the state.
“I’ve stood up the State Emergency Management Agency for the coordination of the state response to the fires, and we’ve seen hundreds of firefighters, both professional and volunteer, as well as conservation agents and others, responding to these threats with tireless efforts,” Gov. Nixon said. “The long-range forecast means not only will our fire responders need to continue their vigilance, Missouri farmers also must be ready for the long haul with this weather, even as we head into harvest season.”
The National Agriculture Statistics Service says topsoil moisture is short in almost all parts of the state and creeks and streams are running dry. It says the condition of the state's corn crop has declined significantly in recent days, and more than 90 percent of the state's livestock pastures are now in poor condition.