Farmers apply for government aid during drought - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Farmers apply for government aid during drought

Dorris says he's already using his winter supply of hay. Dorris says he's already using his winter supply of hay.
BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Rocky Dorris knows a thing or two about cattle farming. He has more than 300 cows on his 1,200 acres.

"I been doing it ever since I've been a little boy so all my life," Dorris said.

But, now even he is looking for help.

"If any drought related money is available, I think all the farmers should be entitled to it," Dorris said.

Dorris needs help because he's already using his winter supply of hay. This problem leaves him with two options.

First, find more hay.

"That will probably cost us $50,000 just for the extra hay," Dorris said.

Second, resort to something no farmer wants to do.

"If he can't find any, we have no other option but to sell the herd out or sell part of it down."

Dorris welcomes any assistance Missouri Governor Jay Nixon can provide. So far, Nixon's approved 490 applications. Dorris isn't one of them yet. He says he's applied for every program available. But, he's not waiting around for a check from the government. He's waiting on mother nature instead.

"Well the only positive we might have right now is if it rains," Dorris said. "If it rained, that would help us a tremendous amount."

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.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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