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Drought improvement ends farm assistance programs

Recent rains have helped improve drought conditions across the area but now federal drought assistance programs are no longer in effect.

Posted: Oct. 11, 2018 5:08 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 8:51 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Recent rains have helped improve drought conditions across the area but now federal drought assistance programs are no longer in effect.

Two emergency programs that were once in effect are no longer; the Emergency Conservation Program and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program.

The Emergency Conservation Program helped farmers with hooking up to rural water supplies. The Emergency Livestock Assistance Program assisted farmers with the hauling of water.

These programs required that the area be in at least an extreme drought, D3, on the Drought Monitor. As of Thursday, no part of northwest Missouri was in that level.

While the funds are no longer available, heavy rain has led to a return of high levels in ponds across the area and this funding may not be needed. 

Allyson Wells, the County Executive Director of the Buchanan and Andrew county Farm Service Agency, says that recent rains are leading to an optimistic future. 

"I am really relieved that we are now no longer in that situation," Wells said. "Hopefully we will be better going into next year. In the spring time, maybe our subsoil moisture will be back. Potentially have our farmers have a break and have a good year next year." 

Wells also says that the Livestock Forage Program will continue even as drought conditions improve. 

If you have any questions about these programs, you are encouraged to contact your local Farm Service Agency. 

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We are waking up to cloudy skies on this Thursday morning ahead of our next cold front that will be pushing through today. Temperatures are above freezing this morning in the upper 30s. Highs will be chilly and below average in the upper 30s throughout the day as the north winds kick up behind the front, gusting 25-30 mph at times. Rain/drizzle chances are possible as well throughout the day in for us here in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.
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