September 24, 2009

Gov. Nixon Asks U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for Weather-Related Disaster Assistance for Missouri Farmers

Today Gov. Jay Nixon asked U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to grant a secretarial disaster designation for Missouri counties impacted by excessive rain, strong winds and flood damage earlier this year. On July 28, 2009, Gov. Nixon asked USDA Farm Service Agency Executive Director Edward Hamill to begin conducting a complete damage assessment on all 114 counties as well as the city of St. Louis. Based on the final review of the damage assessment reports, FSA determined that 28 counties had been negatively impacted by weather-related occurrences and could be eligible for federal assistance.

"Missouri farmers have suffered extraordinary hardships and losses from storms and flooding that occurred this spring and into the summer. Many of these weather conditions caused a delay in planting and decreased yields and are affecting the pocketbooks of many farm families," said Gov. Nixon. "I appreciate FSA Director Hamill's full damage assessment and hope that U.S. Secretary Vilsack will provide the assistance that Missouri farmers need during this time. Missouri's agricultural industry continues to be the linchpin of our economy and we must do everything we can to protect it."

Counties included in the request for disaster designation include: Adair, Caldwell, Carroll, Cedar, Crawford, Daviess, DeKalb, Dunklin, Gentry, Harrison, Knox, Laclede, Marion, Mercer, Mississippi, Montgomery, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Ripley, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren and Worth.

"Farm families across this state have been impacted by downturns in the economy and unfavorable weather only puts further strains on their farms. This possible opportunity for them to receive assistance will help them recover from their losses," said Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. "We commend Gov. Nixon for his continued commitment to agriculture and we will continue to do everything we can to help those farmers that need assistance at this time."