Farmers Feeling the Heat
The state's Drought Advisory Committee said 21 Missouri counties are in the worst drought phase, the conservation phase, and that number has nearly doubled in the past month.
The committee also said only 20 of the state's 114 counties are not experiencing some drought.
"We're just not getting the rainfalls that we normally have," said Steve McIntosh of the Department of Natural Resources. "I don't really understand what's causing that, but it's happening in back-to-back years, which is an unusual frequency. Droughts are a normal occurrence, it's just that we're not getting the wet cycles between like we usually did."
Many mid-Missouri counties are in a drought alert, but dry conditions already have hurt crops and livestock, including high nitrate levels in corn and pastures, which can be dangerous for grazing cattle.
The Drought Advisory Committee meets again in two weeks, but officials said the state won't know the full impact on crops for a few more months.