Continuing excessive heat and severe drought conditions across Missouri has prompted Gov. Jay Nixon to ask USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to conduct crop- and livestock-damage assessment reports.

"The heat and drought will likely cause crop yields to decrease and livestock to be under greater stress," Nixon says. “Hay is already in short supply, impacting livestock farmers. Timely damage assessments by the Farm Service Agency will help those farmers who have been affected recover more quickly."

His request is the first step toward declaring counties to be primary disaster areas, meaning a county as a whole has lost at least 30% of the estimated yield of a single crop, or that an individual farmer has suffered production losses greater than 30%. A primary disaster declaration allows eligible farmers to apply and be considered for FSA assistance in the form of emergency loans.

For more on Missouri disaster declarations, visit here.