Gov. Nixon announces emergency help for drought-affected Missouri farmers

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 7:18 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Missouri farmers suffering from the statewide drought will now be able to drill or deepen their water wells with some help from the state.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday announced an emergency cost-share program to be implemented by the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission. Qualifications for the program include a "water project that must bring immediate material benefit to crops and livestock, and not adversely affect a public water supply," according to a news release from the governor's office.

"This emergency program will make it easier for farmers to drill or deepen water wells or undertake other water distributions projects sooner, in order to care for their livestock or crops," Nixon said in the news release.

The program will be narrowly targeted to alleviate immediate water shortages facing Missouri agriculture, Nixon said. Any of the rules, procedures and certifications generally applicable to soil and water cost-share programs will be waived because of the drought.

The program will cover up to 90 percent of the eligible project costs, with a maximum cost-share award of $20,000.  

Applications for the cost-share program must be submitted by Aug. 6 to either the local soil and water district or online to the state of Missouri at The local and soil and water conservation district will act on each application within 72 hours. Any completed application not acted upon within that time will be forwarded to an Agriculture Water Resource Technical Review Team, which will comprise staff from the Missouri departments of agriculture and natural resources.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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