The worst Missouri drought in 20 years ends, but financial effects remain
From Missouri Digital News:
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed


MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed


MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

The worst Missouri drought in 20 years ends, but financial effects remain

Date: April 1, 2013
By: Michael Doudna
State Capitol Bureau

Recent weather may have ended the worst Missouri drought in 20 years but its effects are still lingering
RunTime:  2:11
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: For the first time in nine months all Missouri counties are out of severe drought conditions according to the National Weather service.

Despite the recent rains the Midwest is getting over its worst drought in nearly 25 years and the effects are starting to hit more than just farmers.

More than 75 percent of the state is currently in drought conditions according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Prices have increased across the board for grocery goods in Missouri and the cost of the drought is passed down to consumers.

The rise in cost has caused consumers like Columbia shopper Anna Harmon to change their shopping habits.

Actuality:  WALL.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "So I don' buy the honey crisps, so that means if you know, you don't like the other apples then you don't go ahead and get the fruit that you really want."

According to a Missouri Farm Bureau survey, the prices of grocery goods have increased each year of the drought, ranging from a five percent increase from 2010-2011 to less than one percent in other years.

The drought has caused prices of vital farm commodities like hay to rise, putting Missouri cattle ranchers like Mexico's Colby Willer in a bind.

Actuality:  HAY.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "The Hay crop wasn't as good, and therefore the pastures weren't as good as well. So then we had shortages on hay and pasture ground."

Willer says he had to thin out some of his herd because of rising feed prices.

Last July the USDA rated 87 percent of Missouri's pastures as in poor to very poor condition.

The drought also has caused caused farmers to look for help, sometimes from the government.

Gov. Jay Nixon made 25 disaster declarations which allowed loan assistance to those in need of drought assistance.

Willer says the government assistance hasn't immediately helped.

Actuality:  WILLER3.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "I mean it didn't really help much, but I guess it helps us in future years. But they cost share on that and they cost share on some other, water supplement things."

Willer says the government isn't the answer to Missouri's drought problem

Actuality:  RAIN.WAV
Run Time:  00:09
Description: "Rain basically is the big thing. Just get good rain and as long as feed prices can go down and a good hay crop this year or just a good winter. So far its been a good year, a lot of moisture in the ground"

Missouri has received more than two inches above the states normal precipitation so far this year.

Meaning farmers may soon get some much-needed relief.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Michael Doudna