Farmers growing crops have insurance to ward off the financial failure of their season during this terrible drought. But there’s no safety net like that in place for livestock producers. And any emergency aid is tied up in Washington politics.
The rock and the hard place where Stacey McCallister now sits looks like this:
Rock: McCallister’s herd of 200 dairy cattle in south central Missouri have feed for about the next 60 days.
Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his administration is keeping tabs on river levels along the Missouri and Mississippi as drought conditions persist across the state. He indicates that the Missouri River may be in worse shape.
“I think that the challenges on the Missouri are a little more significant than the Mississippi," Nixon said at a gathering Wednesday in Jefferson City. "Minnesota has had a fair amount of rain in that part of the country, but we’re watching those issues very carefully.”
According to a new study, the Midwest is getting hotter. With this summer's record-breaking temperatures, that probably doesn't sound like news.
But a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows our hot weather isn't an anomaly - things have been heating up across the Midwest for the past six decades.
The study found that on average, some Midwestern cities like St. Louis now have twice the number of very hot, humid, summer days as it did in the 1940s. Nighttime temperatures are also on the rise, and heat waves of three or more days are becoming more common.
Drought has set in early and hard across the Midwest, parching the Arkansas River basin. The river trickling out of the mountains is dry before it reaches some of the major agricultural uses downstream. And the drought is torching crops, sapping tourism and threatening supplies of drinking water.