Gov. Jay Nixon today called on the Missouri Soil & Water Districts Commission to take emergency action to allow livestock producers facing water shortages to conduct flash grazing, haying and watering on livestock exclusion areas currently under contract. Gov. Nixon's request for this emergency assistance comes in response to his visits earlier this week to Missouri farms in Ewing, Tarkio and Bolivar.
"My administration will continue to work with Missouri farmers to help them during the drought that is severely impacting our state's livestock and crops," Gov. Nixon said. "These emergency measures will provide livestock producers and farmers immediate assistance with access to forage and water and help them through this historic drought. I look forward to working with the Commission and local boards to provide vital assistance to our producers and farmers who are dealing with this extreme weather."
Under the emergency measures called for by Gov. Nixon, farmers would be allowed to flash graze the existing forage and water for a limited time on soil and water livestock exclusion areas. Flash grazing is the practice of briefly grazing a pasture with livestock and could be helpful for farmers facing drought. Statewide, approximately 140,000 acres could be released to provide needed relief.
In response to a request from Gov. Nixon, all 114 of Missouri's counties this week received USDA disaster designations resulting from drought, providing farmers there with access to low interest loans and other assistance to help them recover from losses. A disaster designation allows eligible farmers to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans.
For more information on other resources available, visit MO.gov.