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Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

 

Statewide Drought Alert Declared in Missouri

With summertime heat still to come, a Drought Alert has been declared for the State of Missouri.

Governor Mike Parson signed the executive order, Wednesday, in accordance with the state’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan. Most of the state is currently identified as experiencing abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions.

In the lake area, southern Camden and Miller counties fall under the abnormally dry designation with northern Camden and central Miller Counties now under moderate drought conditions. Northern Miller and most of Morgan counties are identified as currently experiencing severe conditions while northeast Morgan County is experiencing extreme conditions.

Benton County is split with the southern part of the county falling under moderate and the northern part of the county identified as in the severe drought range.

The statewide drought declaration makes various forms of assistance available to Missouri farmers and other producers along the food supply chains.

 

***Full release:

(Jefferson City, MO) – Today, Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 23-05 declaring a Drought Alert in the State of Missouri in accordance with the Missouri Drought Mitigation and Response Plan. 

“With the summer months fast approaching, we want to be proactive to help mitigate the impacts of drought conditions we are experiencing,” Governor Parson said. “Missouri farmers and ranchers often bear the brunt of the consequences of drought, and we are already starting to see early effects on crops and livestock. While we cannot control the weather, we are committed to doing everything we can to alleviate the strain drought causes for our agricultural families and protect our food supply chains.”

A Drought Alert, part of Missouri’s Drought Plan, is the first step for the Governor to direct state agencies to work together to provide as many resources and as much assistance as possible. 

The Executive Order directs the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Dru Buntin, to activate Missouri’s Drought Assessment Committee and requests that all Missouri and federal agencies participate as needed. The Committee’s first meeting will be held next Wednesday, June 7 at 2 p.m. DNR will coordinate additional meeting details.

Missouri agencies participating on the Drought Assessment Committee include the Department of Conservation, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Economic Development, Department of Health and Senior Services, and Department of Public Safety.

The Committee will further assess drought conditions and make preliminary recommendations to Governor Parson by Friday, June 9. Recommendations could include actions similar to those taken in the past, including a hay lottery program, opening public waters for livestock, easing hay hauling restrictions, etc.

Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that all or portions of 60 Missouri counties are experiencing moderate, severe, or extreme drought conditions. The Executive Order declares a Drought Alert in these Missouri counties and any other county that begins experiencing drought conditions. 

In a fast-moving drought, local condition reports are crucial to understanding impacts to provide timely and appropriate assistance. Citizens can submit information about local drought conditions at Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR).

A variety of helpful resources are online at www.dnr.mo.gov/drought. The Department of Natural Resources is adding information on drought mitigation and assistance opportunities daily as it becomes available. The one-stop drought website features a link to CMOR, current drought-related news, the current United States and Missouri drought maps, the Missouri Drought Plan, and other resources, including information on previous droughts.

The Missouri Department of Conservation also warns of the increased risk for wildfires that drought conditions can cause. For more information on how best to prevent wildfires, visit MDC’s wildfire prevention website: www.mdc.mo.gov/your-property/fire-management/wildfire-prevention.

Executive Order 23-05 will expire on December 1, 2023, unless otherwise extended. To view the Order, click here.

Reporter Mike Anthony