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Severe to Extreme Drought in Scotland County
JEFFERSON CITY — May 31, 2023 – Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 23-05 declaring a Drought Alert in the State of Missouri in accordance with the Missouri Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.
“With the summer months fast approaching, we want to be proactive to help mitigate the impacts of drought conditions we are experiencing,” Governor Parson said. “Missouri farmers and ranchers often bear the brunt of the consequences of drought, and we are already starting to see early effects on crops and livestock. While we cannot control the weather, we are committed to doing everything we can to alleviate the strain drought causes for our agricultural families and protect our food supply chains.”
A Drought Alert, part of Missouri’s Drought Plan, is the first step for the Governor to direct state agencies to work together to provide as many resources and as much assistance as possible.
The Executive Order directs the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Dru Buntin, to activate Missouri’s Drought Assessment Committee and requests that all Missouri and federal agencies participate as needed. The Committee’s first meeting will be held Wednesday, June 7 at 2 p.m. DNR will coordinate additional meeting details.
Missouri agencies participating on the Drought Assessment Committee include the Department of Conservation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Economic Development, Department of Health and Senior Services, and Department of Public Safety.
The Committee will further assess drought conditions and make preliminary recommendations to Governor Parson by Friday, June 9. Recommendations could include actions similar to those taken in the past, including a hay lottery program, opening public waters for livestock, easing hay hauling restrictions, etc.
Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that all or portions of 60 Missouri counties are experiencing moderate, severe, or extreme drought conditions. The Executive Order declares a Drought Alert in these Missouri counties and any other county that begins experiencing drought conditions.
In a fast-moving drought, local condition reports are crucial to understanding impacts to provide timely and appropriate assistance. Citizens can submit information about local drought conditions at Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR).
A variety of helpful resources are online at www.dnr.mo.gov/drought. The Department of Natural Resources is adding information on drought mitigation and assistance opportunities daily as it becomes available. The one-stop drought website features a link to CMOR, current drought-related news, the current United States and Missouri drought maps, the Missouri Drought Plan, and other resources, including information on previous droughts.
The Missouri Department of Conservation also warns of the increased risk for wildfires that drought conditions can cause. For more information on how best to prevent wildfires, visit MDC’s wildfire prevention website: www.mdc. mo.gov/your-property/fire-management/wildfire-prevention.