Gov. Jay Nixon today asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate 101 Missouri counties – including Texas – as primary disaster areas. The designation will permit assistance from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to farmers in those counties who have suffered losses to crops and property as a result of excessive heat and severe drought this summer.
The request is based on damage assessments completed by the Farm Service Agency for all 114 counties and the City of St. Louis, at the request of the Governor last month.
“The hot weather and lack of rain has caused reduced crop yields, scorched pastures, and dry ponds across much of Missouri,” Nixon said. “A disaster declaration from the USDA would bring in greatly needed assistance for our farmers, who are facing lost income because of these conditions.”
Primary disaster counties are those that lose at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop, or where individual farmers suffer production losses of more than 30 percent.
A disaster designation would allow eligible farmers to be considered for assistance from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Farmers who qualify would receive FSA emergency loans or assistance from the federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. Affected farmers would apply to FSA, which considers each application individually on its merits. Farmers in counties contiguous to primary disaster areas also could be eligible for assistance.