JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- On Wednesday, Governor Mike Parson called upon the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to activate the Drought Assessment Committee and the associated drought impact teams.

Presumptive Governor Mike Parson. Photo by Bill Benson

“Missouri farmers are resilient, but with no control over Mother Nature, this year’s drought has been difficult to battle,” said Governor Parson. “By responding early to this drought, we can greatly reduce the impact upon our agricultural community as well as on all Missouri citizens. Our farmers are the backbone of our state, and it is imperative that we assist to get through this difficult time.”

There are several known drought impacts at this time, including those to livestock forage and water. There are also at least three public water supplies impacted in northern Missouri.

In accordance with Phase One of Missouri’s Drought Plan, the Department of Natural Resources convened the Climate and Weather Committee in January 2018 to begin monitoring drought conditions and consider response options.

“The committee has been evaluating drought impact reports from across the state,” said Dru Buntin, Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “One of the benefits of activating the Drought Assessment Committee is that it allows us to better coordinate resources to address impacts.”

At its July 13 meeting, the Climate and Weather Committee recommended that Phase Two of Missouri’s Drought Plan be activated.

Phase Two includes declaring a Drought Alert for 47 Missouri counties currently experiencing severe or extreme drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor issued July 12, 2018: Adair, Andrew, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Dade, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Knox, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, McDonald, Mercer, Moniteau, Monroe, Newton, Nodaway, Platte, Putnam, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Sullivan, and Worth.

In June, to aid the agricultural community, the Department of Natural Resources’ Soil and Water Districts Commission granted a statewide variance that allows grazing on practices that would normally be livestock-excluded.

For more information on the Missouri Drought Plan, the Drought Assessment Committee, Executive Order 18-05, and the Drought Monitor map visit https://dnr.mo.gov/drought.htm.