JEFFERSON CITY - Due to lack of rainfall, Gov. Mel Carnahan Monday asked Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman Monday to declare the entire state a disaster area.
In announcing the request, the governor's office cited reporting that show a 50 percent crop loss from the drought in about 50 counties. Missouri's top cash crop, soybean, has been severely damaged as well as corn crops and pastures for livestock.
Conditions of pastures caused farmers in more than one-third of Missouri counties to start feeding winter hay reserves, leaving farmers with more feed costs.
Farmers in Missouri's 114 counties would be eligible to apply for low- interest loans, said Jerry Nachtigal, the governor's spokesman.
"This will tide the farmers over until better times return," he said.