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Missouri Gov. Parson meets with drought experts


Gov. Mike Parson spoke Thursday with state leaders about drought conditions in Missouri.

The governor spoke at the Missouri Drought Assessment Committee's first meeting at the Lewis and Clark State Office Building in Jefferson City.

"That's why these are so important. I wanted to bring everybody to the same table to bring their thoughts and see how we can help one another," Parson said.

Among the list of over 30 participants were the USDA Farm Service Agency, National Weather Service and Missouri Department of Agriculture.

On July 21, the governor signed an executive order that instructed the Department of Natural Resources to convene the committee to help guide Missouri's drought response.

The executive order signed by the governor declared a drought alert for 53 counties in Missouri.

Drought conditions as of August 2

Officials released new drought data during the meeting. The updated drought condition information is made available on DNR's website.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson at the meeting said southern Missouri is being hit hardest by the drought.

"For us in southwest Missouri who are dealing with the drought, you know a lot of my neighbors are feeding hay right now," said Parson.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the committee is composed of representatives from state and federal partner agencies who can help provide information, recommendations, and coordination to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing drought.

Local, state, and federal agencies announced at the meeting that they have started offering additional resources to producers. Some resources agencies mentioned were free hay moving permits and an online water resource location map.

The Drought Assessment Committee leader from the DNR, Jennifer Hoggatt, said that some officials at the meeting shared concerns they had about producers not knowing about resources available from the Farm Service Agency.

The committee is planning to reconvene in a month, but will continue monitor drought conditions and meet earlier if conditions get worse.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.

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