Drought Assessment Committee considers ways to help in drought

State agencies will allow haying along some state highways and waive permit fees to transport extra wide hay loads to help Missouri’s livestock producers weather drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says at least 80% of Missouri is experiencing some kind of dryness as June begins and there’s a shortage of forage and pastureland.

At a Drought Assessment Committee meeting on Wednesday, Jeremy Moseley with the Farm Service Agency said hay production hasn’t been great, especially in northeastern Missouri.

“There’s a producer who hays 1,000 acres of Smithfield ground and the hay is making about 56% of normal.”

Moseley said there are no carryover supplies from 2022 and producers are selling cattle.

“Several sale barns have added sales in mid-June to begin that movement. I think we’ll see liquidation there that we saw in the south last year.”

AgDirector Chris Chinn said water supplies will be the next issue if the drought continues.

“I think there’s a lot of potential for rain and I’m trying to be optimistic. We need to pay attention to the long-term impacts.”

The committee has several recommendations and will submit those to Governor Mike Parson by the end of the week. Missouri’s Drought Assessment Committee will meet again in July.

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