UPDATED: State has already spent $2 million of the $7 million for emergency water assistance for farmers and ranchers
July 30, 2012 - 4:44pm — J. Noedel-Publisher
The Governor said today, “We’ve got about 368 well drillers in the state of Missouri, they’re going to be very busy. We’ve got other types of operations that will be involved here. Our hope is to get these dollars moved out as quickly as possible so that we can keep these operators in place.”
Nixon added, “Our goal is to keep the herd as robust as possible, and that means this covers both if you’re out of water right now, or it is impending that you may run out in the very near future.”
A little less than $5 million remains in emergency funds released by the Governor last week. Farmers have until the end of the week to apply for the emergency water project help.
Gov. Jay Nixon has added $5 million added to the fund for emergency well drilling and irrigation systems. This is on top of the $2 million announced earlier this week.
An official with Montgomery County Soil & Water told CNL that the fund will now give each Missouri county $100,000 to disperse, instead of the original $20,000 per county.
MISSOURI NEWS HORIZON -- Governor Jay Nixon says the state’s farmers need help, and they need it fast.
Farmers need water for their crops and livestock...but because of the drought, they’re having to go farther to find it. Now, the state’s Soil and Water Districts Commission will help farmers by paying 90 percent of the cost of drilling new water wells...or deepening existing wells. And Governor Nixon says the Soil and Water Districts will have to turn those requests for help around in 72 hours. Nixon tells a gathering of farmers in Springfield state departments are doing all they can to help.
JEFF NOEDEL PHOTO
Nixon said, “This is not the end of the rainbow. This is not the one thing that’s going to make it a good year. I don’t want to say that. We are working our way through an historic drought here.”
Farmers who want to take part in the program need to apply for the aid with their local soil and water district offices.
But the offer won't be on the table long. A Montgomery County soil and water official told CNL this afternoon that many farmers and ranchers are going to snap-up this big offer from the State.
Brenda VanBooven told CNL this afternoon that each well or irrigation project may be capped at $20,000 each and the State has just $2 million to divide-up. "It's imperative that people apply quickly," she said. She said the funds will go to farmers and ranchers who already have a bid in hand, or who can get a bid right away. She said -- based on the way the phone has been ringing at their Montgomery City office -- the funds could be gone in a matter of days.
Governor Nixon said, “I want to reiterate that speed part, I mean what we don’t need is producer’s saying I’m out of business, I’m out of here and then have to start over again sometime or be out of the operation, so we’re looking at that.”
Nixon said to an audience of farmers in Springfield that his administration is trying to do what it can to help farmers weather an historic drought.
Applications must be submitted within the next 14 days and practices must be completed within the next 60 days. Cost share up to 90 percent is authorized for livestock and crop water with a maximum of $20,000 per applicant. You can apply directly through the www.mo.gov webpage or come in to your local soil and water district office. The Warren County SWCD office is (636) 456-3434 ext. 3, and the Montgomery SWCD office is (573) 564-3715 ext. 3.
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