Governor Nixon Announces Aid and Assistance for MO. Farmers

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AUDRAIN COUNTY - At Dan Pehle's farm just north of Mexico, Missouri Governor Nixon announced on Tuesday a new emergency program to help farmers access water during the summer drought. The announcement came just a day after Nixon declared a state of emergency for Missouri because of the severe drought and concerns for agriculture, public health, and fire risk. 

The program will help provide money for farmers who want to drill new wells or deepen existing ones in order to provide extra water for crops or livestock. To qualify for the program a farmer must be able to prove the project will help the farmer access water for immediate crop or animal benefit. 

Nixon said livestock farmers will be a top priority for the program as the farmers look for help to clear short-term hurdles. 

Said Nixon, "Right now if you're in livestock production and you have water problems, you're selling your herd and so what we are trying to do here is provide a quick opportunity for that step."

Normally soil and water cost-share programs provide 75 percent of project cost, under this emergency program 90 percent will be covered with a maximum cost-share project of $20,000.

"There are a lot of long-term challenges, our goal is to meet the short-term needs as we would in any emergency management response while we are cognisant of the long-term needs of agriculture," said Nixon.

Farmers must act quickly. They have fourteen days to submit an application for the program to their local soil and water district. The district will then respond to the application within 72 hours. 

Farmers must apply by Aug. 6, 2012, at their local district or online at