JOHNSON COUNTY, Mo. - As farm fields dry up from the heat and lack of rain, so do the ponds that help livestock grow. Many Missouri livestock producers are now using state money to find water.
Leslie Hamlin raises cattle on 80 acres west of Warrensburg and his pond is running on empty. It should be up to 12 feet deep, but most of it is only four inches.
It's so low, the pipe that collects water can no longer do so. It's drying up the 100-gallon water tank.
"Normally when the cows come here to drink, they can just as fast as they want to drink and it'll keep giving them water," said Hamlin. "Now they drink it down and they have to wait on it."
Hamlin said it could be just a matter of hours before water completely runs out, and the quality of his cows will suffer even more.
"We're not having the product we'd like to have because of the water," said Hamlin.
Luckily for Hamlin, relief is just days away. Through emergency drought funding, the state of Missouri is helping Hamlin find water by chipping in $9,000 of the $10,000 it will take him to build a well.
Hamlin said the well will give him peace of mind during future droughts. He said his project is possible only because of the state aid.
"We'd have to sell off and so forth, we'd not be in business as far as the livestock," Hamlin said.
The state has already approved $8.4 million of the $11.8 million available to livestock producers. That equals out to 1,700 projects statewide.
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