Farmers Rush to Meet Deadline For Drought Aid
JEFFERSON CITY - Farmers accross the state rushed to meet the deadline on Monday to apply for drought assistance through the emergency cost-share program. Farmers have submitted 4,500 applications.
Farmers apply for assistance online through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources website or at their county soil and water conservation district office. The deadline to apply for aid online was 12 p.m. on Monday, August 6, but the county soil and water conservation district offices will accept applications until 5 p.m.
District Manager Peggy Lemons of the Cole County Soil and Water Conservation District said her department has received at least 150 applications since Nixon approved the emergency-cost share program on July 24th. Lemons says 20 of the applications have been approved, 100 of those applications have been denied and approximately another 30 are pending.
The Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Cindy Bowne said Boone County has seen significantly less applications. Of the 69 Boone County applications, only 5 were approved. Bowne says this is mainly because there is a strong water supply in the county.
The program is intended to help farmers cover the cost of digging or deepening a well to provide water for their livestock or crops. However, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will have final say on who gets approved for the assistance program.The aid comes from a 1/10 cent soil and park sales tax. There are still funds left in the program but Lemons believes she will give out all the funds she has allocated to Cole County.
Kelly Smith, the Director of Marketing and Commodities for Missouri Farm Bureau, says there will probably be a need for additional funds after all the applications are processed. He says the question will be whether Governor Nixon will be able to find money to fund the requests.