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Missouri governor issues drought emergency aid for farmers, ranchers


Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order to put emergency drought response into action.

The state will streamline hay transportation, open up state land for hay and water and also call an emergency meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Commission on Monday, July 25. All of the aid can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website.

Parson said farmers and ranchers are the most impacted, but every Missourian may see the impact.

"I think as far as for the individuals thinking about running out of water, I don't think we're at that stage to be able to say that," Parson said. "I think it's more worrying about what is the effect of the drought going to be on the cost of food and all that with everything else going on."

Since farmers and ranchers are using resources now they usually save for the colder months, the impact of this drought will hang around longer than the drought itself.

"This will not go away with the first rains that come in two to three weeks," Parson said. "This will affect these farmers in the fall, it will affect them in the winter because of the conditions that we're doing now."

Although Missouri is not at the point where people need to conserve water, Parson said to be mindful of water use knowing that drought conditions are making it more difficult for many.

"You know you see what's going on right now, so I think everyone needs to be a little concerned with how we're using especially water," Parson said.

Parson was joined by Department of Natural Resources Director Dru Buntin, Department of Conservation Director Sara Parker Pauley and Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn.

The department heads and the governor are expected to announce aid for farmers and ranchers affected by the recent severe weather.

Agriculture is an important industry in Missouri. Soybeans are the number one crop for Missouri farmers, making up 5 million acres, according to MU Extension. Valued at around $2.5 billion, the economic impact of soybean crops is integral to Missouri's economy.

Drought is now widespread across Missouri. The National Integrated Drought Information System shows most of southern Missouri is in abnormal to severe drought with some very southern counties seeing extreme drought. Currently, 1,543,589 people in Missouri are impacted by drought conditions.

Historic data shows the worst drought in Missouri in the past 20 years was in 2012.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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