(ANDREW COUNTY, Mo.)
Lack of rain and extreme heat are leading to water shortages, poor crop conditions, and less hay production for area farmers.
For livestock farmers, ponds that are used to provide water for their animals are drying up. Leading to, potentially, having to haul water to the animals.
Ponds drying up are not the only concerns for farmers, though. Hay production is also a concern.
In most years, farmers can expect two or three cuts of hay throughout the year but not this year. The dry conditions and warm temperatures so far has led to only a single of cut of hay.
Derek Hughes, a farmer in rural Andrew county, says that his only cut of hay so far this year was well below what it normally is.
"This year, we’ve got one cutting and it’s about a half to a third what it normally is." Hughes said.
Allyson Wells with the Buchanan and Andrew county Farm Service Agency says they have been receiving calls nonstop from farmers who are facing issues. She says that the agency is working on applying for federal disaster relief aid for farmers but adds that this relief may not be enough.
“Substantially, compared to what they are up against on like the cost of feed and take care of their animals, I’m sure it’s going to be very minimal to what is really needed.” Wells said.
Farmers who are facing water shortage issues or have questions about potential relief programs are urged to contact their local Farm Service Agency.
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