Parson says drought will have dramatic affect on farmers without help

1 month 6 days 17 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
By: Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Reporter
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SEDALIA - Gov. Mike Parson, lawmakers and agriculture experts talked to Missouri farmers at the State Fair Thursdsay, to assure them Parson's administration is doing everything it can to help.

This year most of the agriculture industry's problems stem from spring's quick turn from an extended winter to early summer. This meant there wasn't enough time to grow a bountiful hay supply.

Now, in August, farmers are having to scramble: Crops drying up, livestock producers running out of hay and farmers selling their animals earlier than normal because they can't feed them.

Parson said, "You farmers are just like me, mother nature is tough on us sometimes, but if you’re a good farmer, you gotta go through the good times and the bad times." 

Gloria Spillman, a privately owned cattle rancher in Harrison County, said her area is one of the most seriously affected by the drought and she's running out of hay and water.

"If you can buy hay, it's often times going for over $100 a bail, we can not afford to feed our cattle and make a profit at that rate," she said.

Parson said he understands the dramatic effects of the current situation.

"I’m gonna make sure we do everything we can to try and help," Parson said.

Spillman said she is grateful members of government took the time to talk to farmers.

"I appreciate very much that our governor is a farmer himself, that makes me feel like he has a true understanding and not just giving lip service to what's happening," she said.

While Parson didn't address tariffs, Spillman said, behind the drought, that's the next thing she's worried about for the agriculture industry.

"The tariffs are really affecting our prices. I hope that we can resolve those issues quickly before any permanent damage is done."

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