Governor Nixon adds $5 million to emergency drought program

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced an additional $5 million has been added to an emergency program to help drought-affected farmers Thursday.

More than 600 farmers have submitted applications to receive assistance with drilling or deepening water wells or expanding irrigation systems within the first two days of the emergency program announcement. So far, 33 projects have been approved. The average award amount is $6,300.

"The tremendous response to an emergency program to help drought-affected farmers demonstrates the great need for water for livestock and crops in Missouri," Nixon said in a press release.

The additional $5 million will be added to the $2 million already dedicated from the State Soil and Water Reserve Fund. Nixon signed the executive order Monday to begin the emergency relief program.

"We're putting more resources into this program and continuing to work in other ways to help Missouri agriculture during this drought," Nixon said. "We will stand with our livestock producers and farmers every step of the way."

Under the program, farmers can expect to see up to 90 percent of eligible proposed projects covered by emergency funding.

Farmers must submit applications for the cost-share program by Aug. 6, 2012.

The Governor also redirected $1.5 million for cooling costs in response to the heat wave sweeping the Midwest.

The funds are going to the Summer Crisis Program which provides assistance to low-income citizens to help pay for their cooling costs. The additional money comes from left over funds not used for heating costs because of the unseasonably warm winter.

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