Farmers suffering from this summer's dry, hot weather could get some help through the state treasurer's office.
Treasurer Clint Zweifel says he is offering emergency 24-hour approvals of low-interest loans through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program because of the drought conditions.
Under the program, the state deposits money at low rates in banks, which in turn can supply low-interest loans to farmers or businesses. Zweifel says it normally takes about 10 days to approve a deposit for a loan, but that can be speeded up in emergencies.
Updated with comments from McCaskill conference call.
The entire state of Missouri is now a federal agriculture disaster area.
Seventeen of the state's counties, mostly in the Bootheel, had already received that declaration. Today's announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends that declaration to the other 97 counties and the city of St. Louis.
Gov. Jay Nixon is traveling the state to survey damage from Missouri's hot, dry summer.
Nixon planned to meet with farmers and local officials Tuesday in Lewis County in northeast Missouri, in Atchison County in northwest Missouri and in Polk County in southwest Missouri. The governor is to be joined by the state's agriculture director.