Emergency cost-share program to help farmers weather drought - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Emergency cost-share program to help farmers weather drought

MISSOURI (KFVS) -

To respond to the historic heat and drought across Missouri, Governor Nixon has made available $7 million through a cost-share program to help farmers drill or deepen wells or expand irrigation systems.

As of Monday, the program has approved 490 contracts for projects, giving more than $2.1 million in assistance to producers and farmers. The deadline to apply for the program is August 6.

An example of an approved project is Kasey Hunt's. Hunt has 1,200 head of cattle in Ripley County. His ponds have went dry and his existing well and tanks cannot support his large operation. The emergency program is providing a new water line and two tanks for a total cost of $8,244.

The program is available to Missouri livestock or crop farmers whose production is being severely impacted by the current drought. On July 23, Governor Nixon signed an executive order allowing the State Soil and Water Districts Commission to implement the program.

In order to qualify, a proposed water project must bring immediate material benefit to crops or livestock. To get the program off the ground, the State Soil and Water Districts Commission  provided $2 million in state reserve funds to provide the grants.

There is such demand for the program that another $5 million has been directed to the fund.

Under this program, 90 percent of the eligible water project cost will be covered. Typical water cost-share programs provide 75 percent of the project cost, with the landowner covering the remaining 25 percent. Because of the emergency situation, applications for the program must be submitted by Aug. 6 to either the local soil and water district or online to the state of Missouri at MO.gov.

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