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.
Missouri is in the midst of the worst drought since 1988 – that was the buzz on the MU campus yesterday, as more than 200 farmers and researchers gathered for the annual Pest Management Field Day. Although they came to learn about the latest research on pesticides and herbicides, conversation frequently turned to the bone-dry conditions on Missouri's farms.
Gov. Jay Nixon has asked the federal government to declare 114 Missouri counties agriculture disaster areas because of drought conditions.
Nixon's office says in a release that if the counties are designated as agriculture disasters, farmers in those counties would be able to receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency. The federal aid would also include emergency loans for losses to crops and livestock from the ongoing drought.