Gov. Jay Nixon said the State of Missouri has approved more than 3,700 applications, totaling $18.7 million, to help farmers get more water during the drought.
On July 23, Nixon issued an executive order creating a emergency cost-share program through the State Soil and Water and Districts Commission. The program covers 90 percent of the cost of the emergency water project, including work such as digging or deepening a well, and will pay as much as $20,000.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Missouri’s economy, and we are working quickly to provide emergency relief for farmers and producers who are facing critical water shortages as a result of this historic drought,” Gov. Nixon said in a release.
Drought conditions have gotten nothing but worse in Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows 95 percent of the state as being in extreme drought, and 14 percent of the extreme drought is classified as “exceptional”–the most severe designation.
The drought’s effect on the food supply has gotten more severe as the summer blazes on. USA Today reports that soybean production estimates are down 12% from last year and corn production is down 13% from last year—even after the largest corn planting season ever in the U.S..