As you probably already know, Missouri is in a severe state of drought. With every county in the state declared a natural disaster area, we are all feeling the pinch of this historically dry, hot weather.
Farmers are especially feeling the results of the drought. With increasing food and water requirements, coupled with lower-producing crops, more relief is needed. To date, more than 600 applications for relief have been filed with local community officials.
The governor has called upon his administration to add $5 million for an emergency water assistance program to deepen water wells, drill new ones or expand irrigation systems to give our farmers some relief from the parched land.
The heat affects more than just the land and the animals, however. The hot summer has claimed 28 heat-related deaths, and more than 900 heat-related emergency room visits.
As a result, our state's administration is allowing $1.5 million in funds left unspent during a particularly warm winter to be used for the Low Income Energy Assistance program to help pay cooling costs for low-income families.
Applications for farm relief must be submitted by Aug. 6 to your local soil and water district, which can be found through the state's website at www.mo.gov.
For low-income energy assistance, go to www.dss.mo.gov/fsd/liheap.htm.
Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.