September 21, 2006

Disaster Declaration Sought For Drought-Stricken Missouri

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senators Jim Talent and Kit Bond sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns on September 15th requesting quick approval of the Governor’s request for a disaster declaration for 96 Missouri counties, including Scotland County, affected by extreme drought.

“We need to do everything we can to help Missouri farmers and ranchers cope with one of the driest growing seasons in recent memory,” said Sen. Talent, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “A severe drought is a natural disaster that hurts our farmers, jobs and the health of our state’s economy and this assistance is vital to our producers. Senator Bond and I urge Secretary Johanns to move quickly in approving the Governor’s request.”

“Missouri farmers are facing a critical challenge – severe and persistent drought. Quick approval of Missouri’s disaster declaration would be an important step in getting our farmers and ranchers the help they need,” said Senator Kit Bond.

The disaster declaration request covers 96 of Missouri’s 114 counties including: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Carder, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, DeKalb, Dent, Douglas, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howard, Iron, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, McDonald, Madison, Maries, Marion, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Nodaway, Osage, Ozark, Pettis, Phelps, Pike, Platte, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Reynolds, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. François, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Washington, Webster, Worth and Wright.

The drought threatens to do considerable damage to our state’s economy. Many areas of the state have seen corn and soybean yields reduced due to drought conditions. Additionally, 62 percent of the pastures in the state are in poor or very poor condition. Livestock producers especially in southwest and west central Missouri have been devastated, and some are being forced to sell their animals.

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